Leave it to The Morning Call to make things worse (“Gas blast victims to charities: Where’s the money?” March 1).  We have dozens of families whose lives were shattered or even lost.  We have untold damage to those lives and the neighborhood.  We have an emergency response system that can only accomplish so much in a few short days, and one that generally doesn’t provide money directly to victims.  And we have many companies, groups and individuals who want to help. 

So the newspaper makes it sound like those of us who stepped forward to do what can be done are taking our good old time.

To those who gave or want to give (by the way, Morning Call decision-makers in Baltimore or Chicago or wherever you are, I haven’t seen nor heard anything about a contribution from you):  we have two challenges.  First, we need to know the families’ needs so we can compare them to each other in order to be be fair in the distribution of funds.  And, second, we need to have some sense of how much money will be available.

Think about it.  What if we are moved by the needs of the first five families with which we come into contact?  We give them as much as they “need.” Forty-four families to go.  Sorry, folks, we gave it all away. 

Tough luck?

To the kind neighbors, near and far, who want to help:  every nickel of your contribution will go directly to the families; it will be done carefully to ensure that it’s distributed fairly; and it will be done with haste, but not, to the best of our ability, with waste.

And to the families: we are trying to reach each of you.  If you would contact us at 610-691-2127 we will move this as quickly as possible.