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Donating to Relief Organizations
Written by: Jon Brodkin - Rated 0.00 out of 5, 0 people have rated it.

Donating to Relief Organizations

Area charities, relief organizations and the county government are asking people to donate money rather than goods for the victims of Sunday’s tsunamis.

“We’re encouraging people to give to the Red Cross because they’re partners with us in any kind of emergency,” said Donna Bigler, a county spokeswoman.
“Things are a bit chaotic right now,” said Asoka Ranaweera, a Rockville businessman working with the Embassy of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Association of Greater Washington to raise money for tsunami victims.

Relief organizations can direct cash toward relief efforts, as opposed to donations of clothes and food, which are “virtually impossible” to airlift into the country under current conditions, he said.

Money is “lighter and more convenient,” said Vichai Malikul, president of the Thais for Thai Association in Wheaton, which had raised about $2,000 by Tuesday but had not yet picked a relief agency to receive the donation. The Red Cross of the National Capital Area is waiting to hear if it will be needed in the international relief effort, said Jim Davison, its director of communications.

“Right now, it’s a fluid situation. But we have teams trained for this type of disaster, and now we are just waiting to hear if they’ll go,” he said. “Tens of thousands of people in this area are affected, we have so many embassy staff living here.”


•The American Council for Voluntary International Action publishes an online Guide to Appropriate Giving, at

Donations for Tsunami Survivors

 Donations may be mailed C/O the Secretary at the New England Hindu Temple, 117 Waverley St., Ashland, MA 01721.
     Many local people are also contributing to the India Development & Relief Fund, a national organization that raised $2.9 million in 2001 after an earthquake in Gujarat, India.
     "My phone has been ringing continuously since Monday morning," said Raghu Verabelli, a volunteer who is coordinating the group's fund raising in Greater Boston. "There are a lot of donations coming to our Web site and a lot of people are mailing checks."
     The organization has committed $10,000 to relief efforts already, and said it will match donations up to $10,000 dollar for dollar. The campaign will be on a similar scale as the one following the Gujarat tragedy, Verabelli said.
     "There are many people who have been killed, and the property damage has been much more (than in Gujarat)," he said. "It will take at least two to three years for the whole rehabilitation."
     Donations to the India Development & Relief Fund may be made on the Web at, or can be mailed to IDRF, 40 Orchard St., Tewksbury, MA 01876.
     Governments are also donating large sums of money to relief efforts. The United States dispatched disaster teams and prepared a $15 million aid package. Japan pledged $30 million; Australia pledged $8 million.
     Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

( Jon Brodkin can be reached at 508-626-4424 or )

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