Tag Archives: charitable giving

Pakistan Flooding Relief

Severe flooding in Pakistan began July 29, but the emergency is ongoing. Aid organizations have been there from the beginning, but newscasts throughout the month of August reported that many people were having trouble getting assistance.

CNN reported in mid-August that the number of Pakistanis needing urgent help is twice the number of Haitians who needed help after the earthquake there.

They also reported that donations for Pakistan were merely trickling in, in comparison to the response to the Haiti earthquake.

I give to Mercy Corps, an organization headquartered in Portland, both for regular giving and extra, disaster-related giving.  I’ve already given for Pakistan, and can’t give more right now, so I thought I would try to multiply my giving by harnessing technology to ask others to donate as well.

Why MercyCorps? They don’t just provide immediate relief; they also help people to become self-sustaining again. For instance, in Haiti, Mercy Corps provided water to those in need, but they also set up a program to help people purchase water from local vendors, which helps support the local economy (read “Building capacity in Haiti, one community at a time” for more information).

I’ve set up a personal fundraising page through Mercy Corps, where you can give online. You can also mail a check to Mercy Corps, PO Box 2669, Dept W,
Portland OR 97208-2669.

I don’t get anything for doing this. There are no prizes or incentives. I just want to help. How about you?

Indonesian Earthquake

I woke up this morning to reports of the 8.2 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia today. All of the reports I heard stressed that there had only been one small tsunami, and that there didn’t seem to be risk of any more. Here in Oregon, they also stressed that the Oregon Coast was not considered at risk for a tsunami from this earthquake (the Oregon Coast is considered a tsunami zone).

My first reaction was a mild disgust at the fact that the media considered tsunami danger to be the most important part of the news, rather than any damages, deaths, or injuries that might have occurred as a direct result of the quake. After all, 8.2 is a major quake, and the epicenter was on land. Also, Indonesia’s suffered a great deal from earthquakes, major and minor, since the big tsunami of 2004. So, what about the people? How are they doing?

Well, after checking it out a bit, this doesn’t seem to be the kind of quake with thousands dead (thank goodness). The AP is currently reporting ten dead, with a hundred or so injured. I’m sure it will go up, but that’s much better than it could be. So, I guess I can understand why the media isn’t as concerned. Still, I’m sure the Indonesian people need our prayers and whatever assistance we can offer.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief is often one of the first agencies to be on the ground helping in a disaster situation. Their website is http://www.gbgm-umc.org/umcor; that’s where my disaster relief contributions usually go.