As Americans have donated nearly $1 billion to September 11-related relief efforts, local charities nationwide have reported a negative side effectdeclining donations and dwindling resources.

Major Christian relief and child sponsorship agencies are also concerned about what effects the terrorist attacks will have on fundraising.

"I think this is a question we are all waiting with bated breath to see answered," said International Aid's President/CEO Myles D. Fish. "Everything changed September 11, but we can't really see the long-term effects yet."

An unclear picture

While many organizations said it was too early for clear projections, many are afraid that September donations will be down for ongoing operations.

The Salvation Army collected over $35 million for New York, according to Lt. Col. Tom Jones, national community relations and development secretary. He said there are fears that those donations could replace what donors would normally contribute. "Some people only have so much money to give to organizations like the Army," Jones said.

He said that it might be difficult to see how Army funds are affected since donations are collected and used locally. This could also mean effects will not be universal. "We may not be affected at all in Saginaw, Michigan, but greatly affected down the road in Grand Rapids," Jones said.

World Relief's senior vice president of marketing Dale Hanson Bourke, said other factors make it more difficult to evaluate September's giving. A lagging economy had already worried World Relief before the attacks.

"We are facing a tough time," said Bourke. "The notion that this could divert people's attention even more is a little scary."

Food for the Hungry's public information coordinator Bard Letsinger said ...

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