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Charity Set Up After RI Fire Has Had Modest Effect

King says the fund tried alerting families by sending a letter through families' lawyers, but many of the letters were returned. He says the fund was well-publicized, but in recent years, there has been a drop in applications. The group received eight requests for help in 2010, nine in 2011 and six in 2012, all of which were granted, King says. The group hasn't held a fundraiser since 2010.

"There comes a point where you have to slow down, because the applications are not coming in," he says.

Bowen says if the effort helps one student, it is worth it, and he believes the Derderians and King are sincere in wanting to help but lack experience.

"They really have very good intentions, but there's some naiveté in this," Bowen says. "This is a steep mountain that they're trying to take responsibility for."

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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