Thursday, December 30, 2004

aiding the tsunami devestated areas

In my previous post, I discussed the contributing factors to the death toll in southeast Asia, now over 118,000 according to CNN, with many thousands still unaccounted for, and presumed dead. Entire cities have been wiped off the face of the Earth, with no trace remaining.

The death will continue to rise as disease spreads through the areas affected. This is because there is no longer any sanitation, there are bodies that were not buried/cremated rotting in the tropical heat, insects carrying disease such as malaria, and people continue to not have any food or clean water. Some of the islands and communities are very remote, and have not yet been reached by government officials to provide any sort of aid. The survivors in those areas have been on their own since the disaster occurred. Some were lucky and received food and supplies that were dropped from aircraft.

If you wish to donate money to the relief effort,try to specify that your donation go toward the "tsunami relief fund" or something to that effect whenever possible. Otherwise, the donation will go into the organization's general fund, and while it will be used for a worthy cause, it may not be the specific cause you with to aid. My thoughts/suggestions on donating: don't do it out of guilt or sense of obligation. Do it out of love and compassion for your brothers and sisters in this world. Do what your heart tells you to do.

NY Times list of organizations list of organizations

Some words of caution - don't send any money to "organizations" that emailed you. In all probability, it's a scam. Even if the email appears to be from a known organization, don't respond to it, follow any links in the email, call any phone numbers, or open any attachments. If you want to donate to an organization, YOU SHOULD CONTACT THEM FIRST. Please, please be cautious and don't get ripped off. There are plenty sonsofbitches that would happily play on your emotions and generosity to steal money from you.

Also, there are many, many organizations not on those two lists that are very worthy. If you know of one, have some you prefer to support, by all means, please do. Just be cautious if you are not familiar with a group. Do some research online, check them out before you open your wallet.

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