Flooding in lower Manhattan - David ShankboneFriday night a star-studded NBC telethon raised an unknown amount of money for storm relief efforts with its broadcast featuring hometown heroes Springsteen, Jon Stewart, Billy Joel and Bon Jovi.

The funds will be added to a total of $35 million already donated by early Friday morning according to the American Red Cross. “The public has been generous,” a spokesperson said.

The Walt Disney Company announced Thursday it will donate $2 million to relief efforts, splitting it into two parts — $1 million for immediate relief and $1 million for rebuilding. Its foundation will also match, dollar for dollar, all donations made by employees.

Other donations include:

  • The NFL and the players’ union are combining to donate $1 million to the American Red Cross to help in the recovery efforts.
  • Corporations pledging one million or more include: JPMorgan Chase, Kohl’s, Morgan Stanley, Mercedes-Benz USA, and Enterprise Holdings Foundation and Newscorp.
  • TV viewers in the Milwaukee area donated $116,439 over three days to a WTMJ fund drive.
  • On her TV talk show, Chelsea Handler pledged $100,000 to relief efforts.

While initial outpouring has been strong, the destruction has been huge.

Obama comforts NJ Marina owner WH photoCNN reports the Red Cross has been on the ground in the areas hardest hit operating shelters, offering food, water and relief supplies. On Thursday night, it housed almost 6,800 people in nearly 100 Red Cross shelters across 8 states. 258 shelters will be operational tonight. The group has delivered more than 852,000 ready-to-eat meals and snacks so far, and served more than 215,000 meals.

The federal government has sent 3200 FEMA workers and 11,800 National Guard Troops have arrived. Electricity was restored to Manhattan’s Lower East Side Friday evening. And, millions of barrels of fuel has arrived at the Port of New York.

How You Can 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.

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