Relief for Southeast Asia

Maddampegama, Sri LankaAs of 2:24 PM EST on January 5, 2005, CNN.com is reporting that the death toll from the earthquake-induced tsunamis in the Indian Ocean that hit on Sunday morning has topped 155,000. The organizations listed below are specifically communicating that they have people in the area already with relief efforts that are already underway:

I’m sure there are a lot of other worthy organizations out there, but seems like they’re all on vacation and nobody’s updating their websites. An official from USAID spoke in a news conference Monday morning along with Colin Powell. By that time they had the disaster listed on their website, but were slow in getting specific. But they are official, and they are helping.

Good stewardship requires us to make sure that the organizations we give to are actually putting the money to use in Asia and not just taking advantage of our renewed spirit of giving. Of these, World Vision looks like they’re most on the ball, because they actually have people there in the area and are sending emergency survival kits to the areas affected.

During the month of January, Starbucks is donating $2 from every pound of Sumatra, Decaf Sumatra, and Aged Sumatra whole bean coffee that they sell. As a former barista, I’m convinced that some of the best coffee in the world comes from the Indonesian island of Sumatra, which was one of the hardest hit.

And don’t forget to pray for the people, too. I just saw a show on the History channel about how just because there are earthquakes it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world and Jesus is coming back… What do they know? Imagine yourself in Sri Lanka or Phuket right now. How could you possibly help thinking it’s the end of the world?

Updated 1/5/2005, 11:56 AM PST


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