Twenty minutes after news hit the airwaves of the terroristic violence at the World Trade Center in New York City, calls began to pour into the Douglas County Chapter of the American Red Cross in Lawrence.
"We've been inundated with calls from people in the community to help with the relief effort that's going on in New York, offering to give blood immediately, wanting to make donations," said Jane Blocher, the chapter's executive director.
"We didn't get any calls until about 9 o'clock. Now the phone is ringing about every 20 minutes. We have a substantial list of people who have offered financial assistance, the donation of blood and emergency on-the-scene training in New York."
But there was little information Blocher could give the callers Tuesday morning.
"Honestly, I'm waiting to hear from our disaster lead in Wichita on how to direct these people. It's just maybe a few hours too soon," she said.
"All the Red Cross chapters around the country will be getting information and directives from national headquarters on how do direct the offers of help."
The best thing people can do to help at this time is to donate money, Blocher said.
Those who want to help should make checks payable to the American Red Cross, in care of the Douglas County Chapter in Lawrence, 2518 Ridge Court, 66046.
Checks should be earmarked for the New York City Disaster Relief Fund.
"People feel helpless, and they want to do something to help," Blocher said.
"I'm confident we can do something in this community to make a difference."