MADISION (WKOW) -- "Phenomenal." That's how the CEO of the local Red Cross describes the Haiti relief efforts. However, as the headlines start to fade, there's concern the cash donations will, as well.
"I'm happy to welcome people here, today," says Dr. Geoff Bradshaw, International Education Director at Madison College.
Bradshaw wants students and staff to know more about Haiti, before and after the earthquake.
"Unfortunately, peoples' memories are short and shortly after a tragedy the attention turns to other world issues," he says.
So, Bradshaw put together a panel of experts, including Badger Red Cross CEO Tom Mooney.
"The Red Cross knows this is a long-term, not a short-term effort," says Mooney.
Locally, people have donated around $220,000 for Haiti through the Red Cross. Nationally, the total is approaching $140,000,000.
The Red Cross' total spending bill is at $67,000,000. Mooney says most of it, 79 percent, has gone to food and water; 18 percent to shelter needs; and the remaining for health and family services, things like medicine.
"The outpouring by individuals, corporations, and the media, everybody has really stepped forward to help out," adds Mooney.
But once the news reports and articles stop, Mooney says past disasters show the dollars tend to follow suit. Bradshaw says the list doesn't end there.
"I would like to hope that this is the type of pivotal moment that would focus peoples' attention to development issues in this country and beyond," adds Bradshaw.
Long-term projects for the Red Cross include sanitation issues in Haiti; providing mental health services to the survivors; and working with the Haitian government on infrastructure improvements.
This has now become the largest single-disaster in the history of the Red Cross.
HOW TO DONATE TO THE RED CROSS
Text "Haiti" to 90999 to make a $10 contribution
Online reporting by Brock Bergey