Hi there,
Zen and I have decided to donate several bucks to the Tsunami-relief effort, but we are not sure who the best organization to deal with would be.
With the current administrations of the North Americas' not to be trusted, who can we trust to get our tiny piece of assistance to the needed venues?
I see a great opportunity for greedy scammers out there and really do not care to get caught up in any of them.
Any advice would be appreciated, please.
TYVM, Edgerunner and Zenfisher
Ten Packs
I've always thought highly of Oxfam, UNICEF, and the Sally Ann.

I wouldn't give 5 cents to the Red Cross.....
Paranoid Dot Calm
Hi! EdgeRunner

I know what I'm gonna say is quite different than what most would say in reply to your question.

I think you should give the money to a food bank in your community. I think we should think of people right here in our community.
Maybe just let God-and-The UN worry about foreign places.
If I had relatives there, I probably would give it to the Salavation Army.
A tornado went through my town when I was a kid and it was the Salavation Army who came with food and hot drinks.

For God sakes ... Don't give it to a UN agency!

U.N. unqualified for relief effort
By Joseph Farah
December 29, 2004 (external - login to view)
Mooseskin Johnny
Canadian Red Cross. No problem. (external - login to view)
Reverend Blair
Check with your local Sri Lankan restaurant, Edge. The one here, and I never knew we had a Sri Lankan restaurant until the afternoon call-in show on CBC today, is partaking in something that will bypass the Sri Lankan government and go directly to the people. I never heard the whole thing, but it sounded well-worth looking into.

Short of that, the NGOs always need money and have structures in place. There's always a lot of concern about administrative costs, but in emergencies the money tends to go where it's needed. That includes paying workers, but workers don't work for free.
Rick van Opbergen
I don't know about Canada, but here in the Netherlands, about 9 NGO's and other organisations are working together (Novib, Mensen in Nood (People in Need), Medicins sans Frontiers, Red Cross, even UNICEF) and have opened their own backing account, 555, where people can donate their money to. Yesterday, some 3 million euros had already been donated, besides the 25 million euros the government have given to the Red Cross (directly, not on 555), and 2 million they have given to the UN. I hope that this all goes well; the worst thing to happen is NGO's, Red Cross, UN etc. hampering each other.
Quote: Originally Posted by Paranoid Dot Calm

I think you should give the money to a food bank in your community. I think we should think of people right here in our community.

Most interesting you should say that, Calm.

I've been watching the disaster unfold on TV, horrified by the magnitude and totally unable to grasp the enormity of it all. I cannot imagine how awful the situation must be for those people.

Then I look at some of the homeless people right here in my own city and the same thought you expressed occurred to me. If we can give millions upon millions to other countries when disaster strikes, why is it we cannot take care of our own people?? Here in BC the government recently eliminated some of the programs for people with autistic kids. I know someone with an autistic 14 year old who was deeply affected.

I don't mean to sound unsympathetic -- far from it, the scenes I've watched have literally brought me to tears. It just makes me angry that here in our own country, in Calgary for example, homeless people are freezing to death in the streets and that passes unnoticed. No glory for our leaders in doing something about that.

While I do agree our government needs to put forth Canada's share of help for the disaster, I worry that individuals who usually support local charities will stop doing so in order to give that same support to the disaster. How is that going to affect the helping programs here at home? The money the government is giving IS our money ... our tax dollars.

Odd as it sounds, I am not a socialist at heart. I believe there is no free lunch, that everyone needs to do their part. But I also believe that there are times when people need a hand up (note the difference between that and a hand out!) to become productive.

While my heart goes out to the people hit by the tsunami, I think my wallet stays here at home. Today when I'm out I will buy a couple extra lunches for homeless people instead.
Rick van Opbergen
I don't agree with you Cosmo. I think we are comparing apples to oranges here. The help needed in countries like Sri Lanka and Indonesia (especially Atjeh) at the moment is far different from local help to lets say, the homeless. At the moment, there is a shortage of clean drinking water, food, medicines and shelter in the area. The chance of epidemics breaking out is real - some reports say that is already what is happening right now in the coastal areas of India. We are talking about saving human lives here, basic help to prevent these people from dieing. With all respect, but I value that sort of help more than help giving on a secondary degree to autistic children (to use one of your examples). This does not mean I'm in favor of cutting the budget for these children, or ignoring their cause for the people who are in desperate need in the coastal regions of the Indian Ocean. What I would see to happen - and I do not believe that is unrealistic to think - is that instead of redistributing a certain solid amount of money there should be an increase of funds. Canada is already not meeting the standards which the UN called up for in the Rio de Janeiro summit in 1995 - if I'm correct - to spend 0.7% of the national GDP for foreign aid.

Further more, I also do not think that people will give up support for local charities to give money to the people in Asia who have been affected by the tsunami. I think that people are willing to give extra money for a disaster like this one instead of taking money away which should have been spend on local charities to be spend on this disaster. But I have to acknowledge that I do not have statistics to back that.
Hi ... The way I see it , it doesn't really matter to whom you give just as long you feel the need to give is what really counts ... We really can't change what will or wouldn't take place thats for God to decide what will or wouldn't but rather we can feel good that we as humans do feel for others in times of need ... If everyone was to give or help in this world , how much better this world would be ... So next time you feel the need to give , Just do it and don't worry as to where it will go or what others might think , hold your head high and feel good that you done your part to make this a better world ... I believe that the snake one day will get cut off for good , then maybe then we can really live our lives
I don't know, Ricky ... I think most of us give what we can already to charity. Or at least we do. In order to support one cause, we need to take from another.

I do agree that the situation is, indeed, dire and that the potential for infectious epidemics, lack of food and water and the basic needs of life are all higher priority than many of the charities. I do know, though, that people are dying right here in our own country because they have nowhere to sleep and freeze to death in the cold. I just think that comes first.

Guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Yer still a sweetie!
Thank you all, Edge and I have decided to give a small donation through a local resteraunt and volunteer a little bit of time at a food bank.

Hey Calm!
I agree that it is important to help locally,but when must remember we live on a closed orb. In aiding in a disaster of such magnitude, you are helping to prevent the spread of infectious disease. As we have seen, influenza, for example, can have devastating consequences globally. What affects people thousands of miles away can impact us very easily.
Reverend Blair
Not to mention that this sort of disaster and the confusion that comes after can easily lead to conflict...civil wars, border disputes etc, as people and countries get increasingly desperate. We can either pay now or pay later.
I donated while I was shopping at Wal Mart. I never usually shop there and I had to use a gift card someone gave me for Christmas so I donated 54.37 the remainder of card after buying two dvd's. I sure hope Wal Mart actually sends the money, I think they will as they are a big company. But that is another option to donate "cash" if you do not want to use mail or Credit Card over the phone or net.
Reverend Blair
Even the boys at my local offsale are donating their tips. You know it's hit the public consciousness when those guys are willing to do something. Usually they just grunt and practice looking sullen.
Help whoever you can and whenever you can. And don't bother telling people about it, it loses its true meaning.
Paranoid Dot Calm
Christian right's compassion deficit
By Bill Berkowitz
December 30, 2004 (external - login to view)
Reverend Blair
Anybody want to help me shovel my driveway?
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