Gene Kennedy reportingBetween last year's tsunami and the two major hurricanes America faced this year, charitable giving hit a record high.
The numbers are pretty unbelievable, especially when you see the gap between what people gave right after September 11, 2001, and now in 2005. Here's a small example of what we're talking about.
First, the Salvation Army. The humanitarian agency received $295 million this year-- mostly aid after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Again, $295 million compared to $86 million right after 9-11.
A similar story for Catholic Charities...$133 million dollars in hurricane relief compared to $32 million after 9-11.
Tsunami donations totaled around 13-billion worldwide, by far the largest mass-donation in history. And the U.S. tops the giving list, with $857 million from the American government.
But private donations doubled what the government gave.
And the relief effort was certainly impressive. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated more than 100-thousand hygiene kits. C-31 planes brought a cargo of relief to Indonesia.
And according to a new report from Catholic Relief Services, Utahns donated more than $337-thousand just to that agency. That doesn't take into account Utah donations to the Red Cross, churches, and other agencies.
Part of what motivated so many of us is what we saw in the news...photos of the suffering, from the hurricanes to the tsunami. One photo shows an Indonesian woman who lost a loved one to the tsunami. You'll find that photo in this morning's Deseret News. It's one of many you'll likely see on this one-year anniversary of the worst disaster in recorded human history.