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That’s the estimated amount that private American individuals, groups and companies have already donated to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Chuck Simmins is keeping track.

No waiting for the feds. No waiting for the celebs. No waiting for the U.N. and the “international community.”

Among the folks who are Getting Things Done:

– Bill Hennessy e-mails with an update on his Homes for Katrina campaign:

So far, nearly 200 people have offered to take in refugees, and they’re registering at the rate of 30 per hour since President Bush’s speech. (I think he shocked a lot of people.)

Also, the New York Times Chicago Bureau Chief just called me. She is doing a story on the Home for Victims effort, including interviews with some of the people who’ve volunteered.

– Reader Nathan D. e-mails about Microsoft’s efforts:

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, recently (4pm today) sent out an email to all MS employees, stating that we have “commit[ed] $1 million to several agencies operating shelters and distribution centers in the region.” We “are in contact with local and state governments, businesses and educational institutions to understand the impact the hurricane had on their operations and how to best provide assistance.” We have put “technology teams at the disposal of organizations managing the disaster response to look at strategic ways technology can be used to speed relief assistance and coordinate among the various nonprofit and government agencies responding to the crisis.”

We have been in contact with the American Red Cross and other nonprofit organizations ‘to evaluate what assistance we can provide to individuals who may have lost everything.” “We have also posted the Red Cross donation link on, MSN and other web properties, which includes a listing of other agencies that are currently accepting donations.”

Microsoft will match all donations made to any 501c3 organization, following our standard guidelines on such donations, as this benefit is not unique to this situation, but is always available to employees.

– Holly Aho of Soldiers’ Angels writes that the group has established the Operation Katrina Soldier Relief Fund.

– A reader forwards a message from GE CEO Jeff Immelt to employees:

We all have been saddened by the incredible human loss and physical destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina across the U.S. states of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost family, friends and homes and we will do what we can to help. Our initial response has been to determine if our people in the hurricane region are safe. We are continuing this effort around the clock.

The larger recovery for the city of New Orleans and region is going to be difficult and costly. To assist, we are donating $1 million to our partners at the American Red Cross, who do tremendous work to help people survive the disaster and to put their lives back together. This donation is in addition to the $500,000 we donated to the Red Cross earlier this year for disaster relief. We will also provide equipment such as medical diagnostic equipment where needed. On Friday, September 2 at 8 p.m. ET, NBC Universal will broadcast a concert to raise funds for the recovery effort.

You also are helping. The GE Foundation is matching donations you make toward this effort. Already, GE people have donated more than $130,000. Thanks for your generosity.

– For those of you in Los Angeles, reader Mike L. notes that KFI AM640 is having a a special Katrina fundraising event tomorrow from 3pm-10pm involving their entire programming line-up.

And here’s ClearChannel’s StormAid page.

– Readers are asking where they can donate frequent flyer miles. The American Red Cross is accepting them. If the site is slow to load, just call 1-800-HELP-NOW.

– Reader John V. e-mails that Baylor University is pitching in:

Baylor’s McLane Student Life Center at Speight and Bagby avenues is providing showers and towels to displaced persons who are sheltered at Seventh and James Baptist Church in Waco.

Baylor’s Student Government is setting up a means by which students, faculty, staff and alumni can contribute to hurricane relief efforts. More information about PAWS for a CAUSE will be posted here shortly about ways you can contribute and which organizations will benefit.

Baylor is working to accommodate college and university students from higher education institutions in the hurricane-affected areas to assimilate them into the university so they can continue their studies on a temporary basis.

Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary has offered to accommodate students at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for a semester while the Louisiana school recovers from the hurricane.

Baylor’s Student Life division is working on assembling student teams to help with the cleanup efforts over Baylor’s fall break (Oct. 21-23).

– Via, Texas Southern University is also welcoming evacuees:

Texas Southern University will open its doors to any student currently enrolled at colleges affected by hurricane Katrina.

Application fees for the fall 2005 semester will be waived and a meeting for interested students will be help Sept. 1 at the Houston university.

Students and faculty at the university have also undertaken several fund-raising activities and has offered free tickets to the Labor Day Classic football game between TSU and Prairie View to college students and their families housed in area shelters.

– Instapundit’s getting a head start on tomorrow’s Blog for Relief event. Check out the growing list of charities and give. And then give again.

– Phin is auctioning off a custom designed blog for charity. Bidding is now open and closes at midnight on September 2nd. Go here.

– Reader Bill M. writes:

WNBC (Channel 4) in NYC ran a short telethon earlier tonight.

A Citigroup rep gave a $3,000,000 check on air ; Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, and I believe Amerada Hess pledged $1,000,000 each. Plus $1,000,000 plus from a telephone bank form the NYC area. Over $7M when they went off the air at 8:00 PM EDT, but as they say the phone banks were still open.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
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