Tuesday, December 28, 2004

For tsunami victims, part two

Excuse me, did I hear correctly - that a UN official is calling Americans "stingy" for not giving enough foreign aid? Coming on the heels of the oil-for-palaces scandal, this seems a bit rich.

But we will show him, friends, won't we? Even though we are buried in debt up to our earlobes and beyond, we will open our wallets for this horrifying crisis, because it is the right thing to do.

There is a "Carnival of the Charities" (sort of) at the Command Post, which is continuously updated - an excellent resource (thanks, Medpundit). I did my own tour of a few sites, with my debit card, last night.

Most satisfying overall was World Vision, which gives you a shopping experience: $25 dollars for one Family Emergency Package, how many would you like today? Other good sites were American Red Cross, Oxfam America, and Canadian Red Cross, which allow you to target your donations to tsunami victims.

More worrisome was the ICRC, which does have a presence in the region and is active there now, but does not specifically mention the tsunami (as of last night, they didn't). They have a category for giving "where need is most urgent," which makes me wonder if I'm buying the chairman lunch. No, banish that stingy thought! I forked it over for them, too. (I'm confused about the Red Cross hierarchy - the Committee, the Federation, the national organizations...)

I'm a little wary of some charities, ever since I sponsored a girl in Africa. The letters trailed off after awhile, but I didn't mind. I figured she was busy. I kept sending dough. Then, I got a letter from their mortified chief, who said that the girl had run off a few years back, and they were sorry that they hadn't told me. I was miffed for awhile, but I realized that my donations were probably still doing some good. And that was the point, wasn't it?

Stingy, indeed. Right now, my sitemeter is in a frenzy, with all the people googling "tsunami victims relief" and landing on my post. Well, we'll see who's stingy, won't we?

Update: CNN is reporting that the UN official has retracted his statement. He was "misinterpreted."

Another update: This is one of the easiest ways to donate. Give to the Red Cross, on Amazon. Watch your gift increase the total collected. (I'm trying to put this in my sidebar...)

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