Americans donate to tsunami relief

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 9, 2005

While the world community was condemning the United States’ initial offer of $35 million in aid to tsunami victims as &uot;stingy,&uot; Americans across the country were quietly putting together relief efforts of their own.

From children selling hot chocolate to basketball games at which the price of admission was a donation to victims, Americans have devised creative ways to help out.

And through straight donations to online charities, they have given record contributions to several charities who will help with disaster relief.

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Was the government’s first attempt at aid &uot;stingy&uot;? Yes, when you consider that $35 million is a drop in the bucket for Washington.

But by week’s end we had made up for our initial blunder, pledging $350 million in help.

And this weekend the military effort began, with U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopters delivering food and other emergency relief to survivors across Southern Asia.

Our government doesn’t always make the right decisions, but the American people &045; from the simple gestures of citizens across the country to the hard work by Navy sailors &045; have shown and outpouring of generosity of love for the world community.

And we can continue to help. These organizations are accepting aid for the earthquake victims:

4American Red Cross, International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C., 20012; 1-800-HELP NOW;

4World Vision, P.O. Box 70288, Tacoma, Wash., 98481-0288; 1-888-56 CHILD;

4Care USA, 151 Ellis St. NE, Atlanta, Ga., 30303-2440; (404) 681-2552; 1-800-521 CARE;

4Doctors Without Borders, P.O. Box 1856, Merrifield, W.Va. 22116-8056; 1-888-392-0392;