NEW YORK: According to ABC News, in the week following the
terrorist attacks, Americans donated more than $200 million to
Exemplified by a $3 million donation by the Omnicom Group to the
Twin Towers Fund, PR agencies and networks are joining other industries
to donate funds, items, and services to assist the people and businesses
harmed by the attacks.
Mark Raper, president of Carter Ryley Thomas Public Relations and
Marketing in Richmond, VA, helped found the September 11th Victims'
Relief Fund the day of the attacks. Its goal is to rapidly identify and
address unmet needs of victims and families. The fund had collected
$20,000 in donations a week after it was formed.
Three days after the attacks, 40 PR workers created a 501(c)3
organization - the Twin Towers Orphan Fund. The fund plans to provide
long-term education, healthcare, and other primary assistance to
children currently under the age of 21 who were orphaned by the attacks.
Created by independent practitioners in California and New York, the
organization collected $10,000 in its first week of
Megan Gajdos, an account manager at Duffey Communications in Atlanta,
said staffers felt thankful, but helpless to be so far from the
epicenter of the attacks. To empower themselves, they voted to donate
$1,000 to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund.
"Anything that affects New York is going to affect us and our clients,
as well as our friends and family up in those areas," said Gajdos.
"Everyone is looking to do the right thing."
Some firms are allowing employees to take one-time payroll charitable
deductions to the charity of their choice.
Several agencies have become involved in non-monetary activities.
Stanton Crenshaw Communications set up a free office space clearinghouse
at www.stanton-crenshaw.com/clearinghouse.html, and a number of agencies
sent employees to donate blood on the day of the attacks. Pro-bono work
has also been a way for many companies to contribute.
Giving should continue next week, as fundraising drives are incomplete
at many agencies. For example, this week, Ketchum Washington, DC has
scheduled sales of baked goods, crafts, used books, and videos, as well
as an office raffle that will benefit families affected by the Pentagon
PR industry collects donations for those affected by NY and DC
Allen & Caron New York and Irvine, CA $2,500, to NY Fireman's
Business Wire Nationwide, HQ in San Francisco $20,000 by
employees, to be matched 50% by Business Wire. Total: $30,000
Drasnin Communications San Diego $1,000 to an agency-created
charity to be publicized, the Foundation of America Memorial Fund
The DEVON Group Shrewsbury, NJ
Organized clients to donate 10,000 pairs of socks and t-shirts, donated
to NYC rescue workers
Duffey Communications Atlanta
$1,000 donation to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund
Hill & Knowlton UK London Pro-bono services to the WTC Disaster Fund,
the official charity set up in the UK to raise funds for the dependents
of those killed or injured in the terrorist attacks
Horn Group San Francisco and Boston
Employees contributed $1,300, matched by a $1,000 company
Mentus San Diego $1,000 to the Red Cross through BIOCOM/San
Michael & Partners Dallas Eight employees gave $600, the
president added $250. Total: $850
Omnicom Group London $3 million to the Twin Towers Fund
Padilla Speer Beardsley Minneapolis and New York $500 to the
Uniform Firefighters Association - Widows and Children's Fund
Vanguard Communications Washington $1,000 to the Washington
Family Relief Fund.