I’ve been thinking about the tsunami and what I can do to help the people affected by it. There’s been a lot of talk about donating money to your charity of choice, and even more one-upmanship among world leaders over which country can promise the most per-capita. A lot of this has turned me off of giving, but I’m trying not to let it.
I don’t have money budgeted for a charity this month (my first utility bill arrived – oy!), but I am budgeting it for next month. This gives me more time to decide where to put the money. My first thought was to give it to Mennonite Disaster Service. MDS is staffed mainly by volunteers, and the emphasis is on clean up and repairs, rather than evangelizing. Your faith is shown by your works. I like that about MDS.
However, I changed my mind after I heard a story on NPR yesterday about grassroots aid organizations for tsunami victims. Groups of people are getting together to send money directly to the people who need it. Business owners in some industries are sending supplies to help their counterparts get their businesses running again. To me, that sounded much more enticing than just helping with the cleanup and repairs, which so many other aid organizations are already doing. So, I set out to find a charity that helps libraries, and I came across Book Aid International. I’ll probably send my aid money to them, unless I find out that they aren’t a reputable organization after all.