If my Tuesday was taken up with the normal weather of life: work, errands, dinner, a concert, American Idol, interest in the election, across the planet in a place with two names, people were taken up with surviving weather, and its aftermath. Instead of wasting time feeling guilty for my blessed life, here's a feeble attempt to do what I can to help those who need it.
The number of dead and missing keeps going up in Myanmar. If the headline I read on msnbc.com last weekend said 341 dead, by later yesterday it was 22,000 dead and 40,000 missing--a disaster of tsunami proportions.
And it's not a place that accepts help easily, between the catastrophic damage done to infrastructure and its closed, "miliary junta" government that, surprisingly, has asked the U.N. for help. If people can get visas to enter the country and help.
Fort Wayne is home to the largest Burmese refugee population in the U.S., so we're a little more aware than most of the situation and what it means to people--our neighbors--who have relatives and friends there. Read more about Fort Wayne and Burma at burmafortwayne.com and friendsofburma.org.
Mayanmar (which the refugees still call Burma) is one of the ten poorest countries in the world. And may be the number one most devastated.
Here's a few ways to help:
World Vision is supplying Family Survival Kits for $25»
Caritas Internationalis is coordinating relief efforts for 162 members. Donate through Catholic Charities USA»
AmeriCares.org is gathering supplies to ship to Myanmar»
Directrelief.org works with local partners to provide relief»
Doctors Without Boarders.org teams are being sent to Myanmar»
International Red Cross to send food and other help»
If you have a charity to add to the list, please include it in the comments.
I'm sitting at my desk warm, dry, fed, and with a bed to sleep in tonight. Let's help those who have lost everything--and didn't have much to begin with.