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The Greater Buffalo chapter of the American Red Cross and the Association of Hispanic Pastors announced a joint fund-raising effort Wednesday for the victims of floods and mudslides in Venezuela.

"Entire communities are underwater or buried in mud," said Nancy Blaschak, Red Cross executive director. "In Caracas, the worst-hit areas were the shantytowns perched on steep mountainsides, where one-third of the city's 6 million residents live."

Contributions may be sent to the American Red Cross Venezuela Relief Fund, 786 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, N.Y. 14209. Contributors may also call (800) HELP-NOW, the Red Cross at 878-2374 or, to speak Spanish, (800) 257-7575.

Credit card contributions may be made through the International Response Fund option at

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