Area Red Cross Chapter Seeing Decline In Local Donations

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It's the cruelest of ironies. After Stateline volunteers shell out thousands of dollars to the Gulf Coast's American Red Cross' hurricane relief fund, the area's local Rock River Chapter is running dry in funds.

"Everyone has only so much money that they can use for donations, so if you choose to use that money for Hurricane Katrina, then you might not have money to give locally," Kathryn Dyrdahl said.

Local Red Cross spokesperson Kathryn Dyrdahl says the slump in area fundraising will likely to be similar to the two years following 9/11. Dyrdahl says the Rock River Chapter could suffer through a $200,000 decline in donations, a drop in giving likely to be felt hardest during the season of giving.

"We feel the biggest impact we're going to feel is from our holiday campaign this year, because of people that normally would have given locally have donated already to Hurricane Katrina," Dyrdahl said.

However, despite a local fundraising slump, Dyrdahl says the Red Cross' local services like homeless shelters, disaster centers and fire response units will stay strong. Even though local donations likely are expected to be hurting, she's extremely proud of the area's enormous hearts half a nation away.

"Even though local donations are down, one of the things that does happen is it creates awareness about the Red Cross and what we do not do only nationally, but locally, so in turn that will help bring back local monies in," Dyrdahl said.

An area non-profit group hoping the funds can return locally, after so many gave so many dollars nationally.