What has happened in Asia is simply overwhelming. The numbers of dead are expected to grow to over 125,000. More than 1.8 million people need food aid, and an estimated five million people have
been made homeless.
You may feel unsure where to donate money, given all the choices. BustedHalo.com has attempted to find some options to make it easy for you to assist our brothers and sisters who are facing
Option One: Help Provide Clean Drinking Water
The drinking water in many of the affected areas is now contaminated. Many people have also been displaced.
- Experts warn that unsafe drinking water would likely kill many thousands more people.
- There is a water purification technology though that can help provided by PUR a well-know water purifier (BustedHalo’s Mike Hayes uses this in his own home and vouches for its effectiveness).
It is inexpensive, and works quickly. It has a proven track record in many countries like Bangladesh, Botswana, Chad, Haiti, Iran, Malawi, Liberia and Zimbabwe.
- At least two relief organizations are channeling PUR to the devastated areas in Asia. One is AmeriCares. A scientist who is
accompanying an AmeriCares’ airlift to the region remarks, “For every $10 worth of this product we can bring to the region, roughly 80 people can be provided with purified freshwater for a week.
I and my colleagues at Americares are hoping to bring upwards of $50,000 of worth of this product to the region on this airlift, if not more. That’s sufficient to sustain at least 40,000 people
for ten weeks.”
- American Jewish World Service is also providing PUR to the region.
- You can donate funds to either by clicking on the above links and then specifing that you want your money to go toward the “purchase of PUR for water purification in the Bay of Bengal
Option Two: Donate to the International Rescue Committee.
Rick Brennan, a frequent BustedHalo reader works for the IRC, one of the most effective relief organizations in the country. They were off to Bangladesh at last check and could use both your
prayers and support. Click here to
donate to them.
Option Three: Make financial donations to other agencies that are responding
Option Four: Volunteer to Assist:
Caution: Most organizations will require experience in emergencies before hiring anyone, as this will be a very difficult response. Check websites of the big organizations listed above. DO NOT
ATTEMPT TO TRAVEL TO THE REGION ALONE.
Option five: Offer regular prayers.
BustedHalo found an online prayer experience for you to use each day.
Consider also offering your daily meditation at Sacred Space for the victims or place a prayer in our prayer thread in the discussion
Option six: Lobby government officials to contribute more of the US budget to foreign assistance…. and continue to do so in the future.
Unknown to most Americans, the US is very stingy with foreign aid, contributing only 0.14% of its GDP: this is less than any developed nation in the world. We have an opportunity to lobby our
government to spend less on military expenses and self-interested “pork”, while at the same time substantially increase foreign assistance. Contact your representatives at http://www.house.gov/ and http://www.senate.gov/.
Option Seven: Remember other humanitarian disasters which are so easily forgotten.
Make contributions to support efforts in other areas that need our assistance. As money flows into Asia other needy places continue to need our help as well. You can direct money to these places
through the same charitable organizations we mentioned that are helping the tsunami victims. Simply state where you want your money directed to (this can usually be done by writing it simply in the
memo section of a check). Some areas of concern at present are:
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Northern Uganda
- Sierra Leone
- Darfur in Sudan
- Haiti and Jamaica
Option Eight: Teach children about the global community:
We are all eventually affected by the suffering of others. BustedHalo feels very strongly that we need to teach children about the increasing interconnectedness and interdependence of our world,
and the resultant responsibilities that we all have to act justly, generously, and humanely.
Option Ten: Write your local and national media outlets to continue to provide coverage of the disaster long after the story leaves the immediacy of the headlines.
As they say, check your local listings. Some of the more prominent national networks and cable outlets include: