Preparing to help our neighbors across the planet

Posted on December 15, 2010 by Veronica Taylor

As we approach the end of 2010, a few thoughts come to mind about the disasters we’ve witnessed around the world in the past 12 months.

It’s nearly a year since the devastating earthquake hit Haiti, and the people of that island continue to suffer in ways we cannot imagine.  After Haiti captured our attention, we saw the floods in Nashville, the mud slides in Pakistan and other disaster events around the world.

Think about how challenging it is for disaster relief agencies to be ready to respond to one disaster after another.

One local official told me it costs as much money to be ready to respond as it does to actually respond.  So, my thought, as I’m writing checks to my favorite charities this December, is that maybe we should consider giving these disaster relief agencies a boost in their own readiness.

Why not send a check to any of the agencies that help when disaster strikes, so they can have immediate funds to respond?  I’ve heard that some national agencies are considering establishing these “rapid response” funds, so when a disaster occurs, the agencies can get on the ground quickly with immediate aid.  What a good idea and what a great cause to support.

Think of all of the people in need immediately after a disaster and how they would welcome the site of relief workers who can get onsite sooner rather than later.  We know the next disaster is just around the corner, and it really doesn’t matter where it will occur. People will need help – desperately and immediately.  Why not help a relief organization jump into action quickly, rather than having to seek funds that can take time to raise?

I’m making a list of those agencies – large and small, national and local, faith-based organizations and other non-profits – that do this kind of disaster relief work and could benefit from these kinds of “rapid response” resources.  If you are interested in making this kind of contribution, simply send along a note to the agencies of your choice with your contribution, indicating what you’d like your contribution to support.

Best wishes to all for a wonderful holiday season, and a safe, healthy and happy new year.


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