The American Red Cross is operating shelters and offering food, water and relief supplies to areas struck hard by Superstorm Sandy.
As of early Wednesday, the Red Cross had raised nearly $103 million, up from $85 million Monday morning.
Much of that bump came from a "Day of Giving" fundraiser hosted by ABC on Monday, which the network reported brought in almost $17 million for the Red Cross.
Donations to the aid organization more than doubled over the weekend, thanks in large part to a separate telethon and benefit concert held by NBC on Friday. About $23 million was raised during the event, which featured appearances from stars including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Christina Aguilera, Jon Stewart and Jimmy Fallon.
Companies that have pledged $1 million or more to the Red Cross and other nonprofit aid organizations include JPMorgan Chase (Fortune 500), , Walt Disney (Fortune 500), , News Corp (, )Kohl's (Fortune 500), , Morgan Stanley (Fortune 500), Mercedes-Benz USA, and Enterprise Holdings Foundation. ,
Overall, businesses have announced donations totaling $90 million, according to the Chamber of Commerce's Corporate Aid Tracker.
Instead of giving cash, Walmart (Fortune 500) donated 60 pallets of food and drinks, more than 2,000 board games and nearly 6,000 cases of cleaning supplies to people in New York State who were impacted by the storm, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday. ,
PepsiCo (Fortune 500) delivered more than 100,000 cases of drinks and snacks to New York state and said it will donate an additional 22 truck loads of supplies within the next week. ,
With the money it receives, the Red Cross is operating shelters and offering food, water and relief supplies to areas struck hard by Sandy. To date, the agency has set up 472 shelters in more than 10 states, providing 60,500 overnight stays to storm victims since the hurricane hit. It has delivered more than 3.2 million meals and snacks and has handed out more than 121,000 relief items, including hygiene kits, clean-up kits, shovels and rakes.
The $103 million that the Red Cross has raised beats the mere $8 million raised over the entire recovery period for Hurricane Isaac, which struck the Gulf Coast earlier this year, according to Neal Litvack, chief development officer at the Red Cross.
But there's still a long way to go until donations reach the levels raised during disasters like the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan last year and the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. During the entire recovery periods for those events, the Red Cross raised a total of about $302 million for Japan, and $475 million for Haiti.
Among the other nonprofit organizations raising money for relief efforts, the Salvation Army has received about $4.8 million in donations made online or by phone. Feeding America has brought in $1.2 million in financial contributions and nearly 4 million pounds of food and water, which it said will go to food banks in impacted areas. The United Way of New York City has raised $2.1 million, while Catholic Charities USA and Direct Relief International have each received donations totaling $500,000, according to a fund-raising survey conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy late Monday.
How to help
If you'd like to donate to the Red Cross online, go to www.redcross.org. You can also mail a check to: the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C., 20013. To donate by phone, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or give up to $10 by texting the word "REDCROSS" to 90999.
The IRS also announced incentives for companies that let employees exchange vacation days, sick days or personal leave for cash payments that are given to qualifying tax-exempt organizations involved in Hurricane Sandy relief. Companies that adopt a leave-donation program like this are allowed to claim the cash payments as charitable deductions, and the amount of money donated won't be considered part of an employee's income or wages for tax purposes.
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