Firefighter Charity Looks For Direction

A major charity organization raising funds for the survivors of fallen firefighters is currently sitting on perhaps more than $4 million, part of over $9 million raised over the last two years, with vague plans to disburse it in the future.

The Firefighters National Trust, formerly known as FireDonations.org and still found on the Web at that address, was organized in August 2001. Following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon September 11, 2001, it was well placed and quickly marketed as the place for the public to come to the aid of the fallen firefighters and their families.

In less than a year, donations totaling over $9.5 million came into their organization which was capable of taking online, electronic donations. The effort was helped by getting such high-profile groups as American Airlines, United Airlines, CBS News, Forbes, Yahoo, E!Online, American Liberty Partnership, The New Yorker, MTV, MSN, Amazon.com, Firefighting.com, Abercrombie & Fitch and Forbes Magazine to promote their effort, according to information on their Web site. They operate out of Gig Harbor, Washington.

FireDonations.org was placed highly on Yahoo.com to raise money for the families of the fallen firefighters of New York. However, within a matter of days their presence on the site was downsized and Yahoo! switched its primary fund raising efforts for firefighters to the International Association of Fire Fighter's 9/11 Disaster Relief Fund.

FireDonations.org gave the Uniformed Fire Fighters Association, the New York City IAFF union local, $3,980,730 in December 2001, and an additional $394,317 in June of 2002.

George Burke, Assistant to the President of IAFF said of FNT, that they right after the 9-11 incident,

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