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$109K Each From Red Cross

Investigative reporter Arnold Diaz holds up a trophy he received at the 50th Annual New York Emmy Awards Gala on April 1, 2007.
GETTY IMAGES/Bryan Bedder
The American Red Cross expects to collect $850 million in its fund for terrorist victims and their families and plans to disperse 90 percent of the money by Sept. 11, 2002, charity officials said Thursday.

The Red Cross already has distributed $490 million to victims' families, people who lost their home or job because of the terrorist attack, according to David McLaughlin, Red Cross' chairman of the board.

Of the final $360 million in the Liberty Fund, $240 million will be spent on the additional financial assistance, $80 million on long-term services for victims and $25 million on immediate disaster relief, McLaughlin said.

The average financial gift to victims' families who participated in the program will total $109,000.

The plan was overseen by former Sen. George Mitchell, who was appointed by the Red Cross in December to help come up with a plan to disperse the rest of the money.

The Red Cross was severely criticized for initial plans to spend some donations on blood banks, community outreach and infrastructure improvements not directly related to the attack. In November, the charity amended those plans and pledged to funnel donations entirely to those affected by the terrorist attack.

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