Joho the Blog » Hands, not just wallets

Hands, not just wallets

A number of commenters are looking for ways they can lend a helping hand beyond opening their wallets. Some are willing to travel to the affected areas, live in tents, and pitch in. Does anyone know of any groups willing to take them up on their offer?


Here’s Peter Kaminski on that very question. And a tsunami aid blog. (Thanks for the links go to Staci Kramer, who has more on donation sites.)

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7 Responses to “Hands, not just wallets”

  1. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) appears to have opportunities for folks with specific skills. See link: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/volunteer/field/

    I would check with CARE as well: http://www.careusa.org/getinvolved/volunteer/. Can’t hurt, might help.

  2. p.s. If you’re going to help, it’s best to make sure your own immunizations are up to date before you go. No sense going if you’re not going to be healthy enough to endure grueling conditions.

  3. I recommend this page: http://www.cidi.org/understanding/faq.htm

    The whole thing should be read. It is important to realize that the most effective, urgent resource we have that we can provide from here is cash. Our cash.

    Secondly, at the time of the emergency is not the time to be trained in emergency work. Already-trained people, knowledgeable in language, able to make substantial commitments, and experienced in working in disaster situations are what are needed. The most committed volunteers of other kinds will be found aplenty at the disaster location itself.

    Recognizing that people do want to make a difference, I think the best thing to do is find domestic organizations to volunteer with. You might even off-load someone already qualified to be able to travel. You might find other local activities that are highly-indirect but that contribute to the overall climate of contribution (e.g., given blood lately?). Later, when the critical emergency is subsiding, there might be domestic organizations that can train you for future emergencies, or you can participate in extended relief and recovery activities. You might want to find ways to become qualified for that starting now.

    It is hard to want to make a difference in person and be frustrated in that. Sometimes the greatest difference we can make in providing relief is delivered indirectly and that can be the most powerful thing we can do. Thanks to all who find the generosity to do that and the determination to be prepared for future emergencies here and elsewhere (take a life-saving course, set up your car for emergencies, etc.).

  4. Volunteers who have medical training and/or some ability to speak a local language could probably be a big help–for example, see this list of local services offered by IMC: http://www.imcworldwide.org/loc_indonesia_tsunam.shtml

    Suw at Choc ‘n Vodka is figuring out innovative ways to get $ to send– http://chocnvodka.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2004/12/31/220012.html — so are others mentioned in this story — http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/aplocal_story.asp?category=6420&slug=MA%20Tsunami%20US%20Charity

  5. Here’s another CIDI link to a page that is specific to the current emergency in Asia: http://www.cidi.org/incident/tsunami/

  6. This link will bring you to an article I wrote in response to 911 called Coping With Fear that is relevant to coping with the aftermath of the Tsunami disaster.

  7. 12/9/05 Votes, Bits, and Bytes

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