Local residents have donated more than $30,000 in cash and more than 200 units of blood to help victims of the deadly bombing of an Oklahoma City federal building.
Most of the money came in after several radio stations asked listeners to pitch in. Other groups, including Spokane’s Catholic Diocese, also are soliciting donations.
At the urging of KEYF-FM, contributors drove to the American Red Cross office near downtown and gave more than $27,000 to the organization’s national relief fund.
The oldies station’s disc jockeys left their South Hill studio to broadcast live from the office.
Most of the cash given to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund will help victims in Oklahoma City, a Red Cross official said.
Gonzaga University students contributed more than 150 units of blood Thursday, but little of that actually will go to bombing victims.
Another 100 people walked into the Inland Northwest Blood Center to donate blood, twice the usual number, said spokeswoman Susan Ogan.
Many donors said they hoped the blood would help victims of the bombing. But so many people have donated blood in the Midwest that Spokane’s supply is not immediately needed, Ogan said.
Workers for Mayflower/Laidlaw, the company that drives buses for Spokane’s Public Schools, raised $500 for the relief fund.
One of those employees said, “This is for the sake of the (injured) children. This really gets to us.”
The National Catholic Charities disaster response office sent $10,000 to Oklahoma City, and asked local diocese offices to encourage other donations.
Area residents can mail contributions to “Oklahoma Explosion” in care of the Spokane Catholic Diocese, P.O. Box 1453, Spokane 99210.
Spokane radio stations KDRK-FM and KZZU-FM also mounted efforts to collect relief money. KZZU listeners raised about $1,000 for the Red Cross by making donations to Seafirst Bank branches.
KDRK-FM listeners were asked to come to NorthTown Mall, where two disk jockeys collected about $1,200 for the Red Cross.
In addition to sending money, Spokane’s American Red Cross office is handling questions from people looking for reports on friends or relatives.
As relief efforts continue, state officials warn residents not to be taken in by fraudulent solicitors.
Secretary of State Ralph Munro’s office warned that donations should only be made to known groups, and never to telephone solicitors.
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: HOW TO HELP Relief funds have been set up by the following organizations: American Red Cross, 326-3330. Catholic Charities, 456-7150.
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