Most of us don’t know how to react to major disasters around the world, especially when several things happen at once. And because it all seems so overwhelming, often we just go on about our daily lives, reading the horrific headlines and collectively shrugging our shoulders.
In the past couple of days a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia has killed at least 531 and trapped thousands in rubble, a separate quake-related tsunami in the Samoas has killed 120 people and left thousands homeless, and a massive storm in the Philippines left more than 270 people dead and flooded the homes of nearly 1.9 million. But, what can we do?
For starters, there are two hardworking aid organizations in our region (Pacific Northwest), Mercy Corps and World Vision, rushing to help.
Mercy Corps is responding to the two quake-related disasters. Emergency teams are already on the way to the areas most affected.
World Vision is trying to help the estimated 100,000 people affected by flooding in Manila which was caused by Typhoon Ketsana. Many of these people lost everything they owned to the flood. World Vision staff, working with the Philippine Coastguard, has already begun distributing aid by helicopter.
These are hard economic times for a lot of us, I know, but we can do a lot more than just shrug our shoulders. No help is too little; only too late.
Both groups are in urgent need of money to make sure aid continues to reach those in need. Both aid agencies accept donations through their web sites. Both web sites also have more details on their aid efforts in the region.