D.C. government officials said yesterday that they have received such an overwhelming response to their appeal for donations for Hurricane Katrina victims that goods and other donations no longer will be accepted at the city's fire stations. Officials urged people who want to help to send financial contributions to the American Red Cross or other relief organizations.
Leaders of Serve DC, the agency that manages emergency donations and volunteers, said they received more than 7,000 responses to their appeal for volunteers and donations. Some donations were reserved for hurricane survivors brought to the D.C. Armory.
Yesterday, the armory housed 174 of the 295 people airlifted last week from New Orleans, according to the Red Cross, which is managing the shelter.
As the number of people living in the shelter continues to drop, officials have focused on the evacuees' long-term needs. Representatives from the Social Security Administration, for example, are on site and have been issuing Social Security checks, according to Red Cross spokesman Cameron Ballantyne.
The Red Cross has provided relief to about 1,400 households evacuated to the Washington area and has distributed MasterCard debit cards -- in amounts varying according to need -- to each of those households, Ballantyne said.
-- Lena H. Sun