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Sometimes it seems that human avarice and maliciousness know no bounds. The New York Sun reports today on a number of websites that have sprung up for fundraising in connection to tsunami relief, but these show no connection to known and trusted charitable organizations:
On eBay, sellers are hawking Pez dispensers, a gold necklace, a stuffed mouse, and a "hand-carved" Buddha statue with the promise that proceeds from the auctions will go directly to charities assisting the victims of the tsunami in Asia.
Visitors to tsunamireliefaid.com are directed to a crudely constructed Web site with photographs of those who appear to be tsunami victims and instructions urging users to send relief packages and $10 checks to a P.O. box in Germantown, Md.
As major aid agencies around the globe undertake what could be the costliest and most complex relief effort ever, the catastrophe in South Asia has also given rise to hundreds of newly born charities purporting to raise money for victims. ...
Many of these charities are anonymous and don't have the imprimatur of philanthropic associations. It's unclear if the fund-raisers mentioned above are legitimate. But according to those familiar with online fraud, people looking to donate to the tsunami victims ought to be extra wary of unfamiliar Internet sites and individuals collecting money or goods.
Make sure your generosity benefits those who truly need it and not someone who contributes to their deaths by stealing the relief the victims so desperately need. Contribute through recognized charities, ones that have had long records of success in getting help to people without stealing from them. Many now recommend World Vision for effective use of donated money and material.
CQ reader Jeff Carlson has an interesting suggestion -- one that could make a verifiable charity very happy:
How about a "World Relief Day" where Americans can pledge/donate 1 days take home pay to relief of the disaster victims? A lot of employers might match it as well ...
I suggest January 12th ...
How about it, CQ readers? Does January 12th sound like a good day for our own World Relief Day, where we pledge our take-home pay for that day to tsunami relief? Jeff suggests Red Cross as a beneficiary (the Amazon link), but I think CQ readers might be more comfortable with World Vision. Post your comments and I'll make the decision based on the feedback received. I'll also have a blogroll posted on January 12th of the blogs that link back to it.
Let's see what good we can do here.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Even In Tsunamis, The Scum Rises To The Top; Let's Beat Them To The Money:
» World Relief Day from democrats give conservatives indigestion
Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters warns us to be careful where we donate for tsunami relief, because there are a lot of scams popping up out there. He also brings up an interesting idea from one of his readers. CQ... [Read More]
Tracked on December 30, 2004 1:37 PM
» Online Con Artists Exploiting Tsunami Tragedy from Powerpundit
It sure didn't take long:On eBay, sellers are hawking Pez dispensers, a gold necklace, a stuffed mouse, and a "hand-carved" Buddha statue with the promise that proceeds from the auctions will go directly to charities assisting the victims of the tsunam... [Read More]
Tracked on December 30, 2004 2:01 PM
» For Whom the Bell Tolls from Slant Point
The tsunami body count continues to rise. Drudge is reporting 400K. First, I think we all agree this is the worst natural disaster of our lifetime. But with all due respect to the victims, we must urge caution towards the death estimates that seem to... [Read More]
Tracked on December 30, 2004 2:02 PM
» World Relief Day? from Slant Point
Captain Ed is asking if we bloggers are up to the task of holding a World Relief Day on Jan 12. I'm game. Readers?... [Read More]
Tracked on December 30, 2004 2:04 PM
» Blogger World Relief Day from The House Of Wheels
January 12 is the date, as set up by Captain Ed. Slant Point is in on it too. More details to come, but a day where bloggers and readers chip in money sounds like a good idea to me. [Read More]
Tracked on December 30, 2004 10:35 PM
» Deathsploitation from Twisted Spinster
It's a truism that disasters, natural and otherwise, bring out the best in humanity. A more exact observation is that events such as last week's massive tsunami cause the dropping of masks, where human beings and their organisations display their tru... [Read More]
Tracked on December 31, 2004 10:44 AM
» Tsunami News from Abstract Musings
The death toll from the tsunami has passed 120,000 people. As it continues to climb, aid continues to increase as well. Amazon has raised over $8 million for the American Red Cross, the World Bank has offered $250 million in tsunami aid to the UN, and ... [Read More]
Tracked on December 31, 2004 11:38 AM
» Tsunami Notes -- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Small Town Veteran
Well, what should my first post of a new year be about, other than those two that specifically mentioned that it is a new year? There are several issues that I'll continue to try to draw attention to and influence [Read More]
Tracked on January 1, 2005 10:16 PM
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