One organization, Care and Share, collected nearly 73,000 pounds of food and water for the brave firefighters who battled the blaze. On top of that, Care and Share volunteers distributed more than 440,000 pounds of food and water to affected residents. An amazing surplus remains: The group has 332,593 pounds of food and $379,032 in donations remaining to distribute for the holidays.
According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, America's top 50 donors gave a total of $10.4 billion in 2011. But it's the small, unsung acts of everyday giving and doing -- like the Osborn brothers' $612 or the Staten Island citizen brigade's do-it-yourself volunteerism -- that add up. In sum, Americans contributed $136 billion to charitable causes. The median discretionary income of the American giver? $54,783.
God bless America, the Charitable.