NU Online News Service, Dec. 20, 2004, 5:05 p.m. EST

A unit of a large discount broker wants to help provide free financial planning for the needy.[@@]

Schwab Institutional, San Francisco, will be donating $300,000 over 3 years to the Foundation for Financial Planning, Tucker, Ga., to help start an endowment for the National Financial Planning Support Center.

Financial planners set up the center in 2001, to help families affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In recent years, organizers have broadened the mission of the center to providing financial planning help for low-income people, disaster victims, and people who have received credit counseling or declared bankruptcy.

The center also is working with the American Red Cross and the Financial Planning Association, Denver, to provide financial planning help for military families.

Schwab Institutional is a division of Charles Schwab Corp., San Francisco.