By now you have probably heard about the powerful earthquake that hit Indonesia this morning killing thousands of people and injuring thousands more. While not as devastating as the 2004 tsunami, Katrina or the 2005 South Asia Earthquake, aid organizations are already asking for donations to help with the relief effort.
You can help the earthquake victims by making a financial donation to any of the following charities:Church World Service
Click here to donate to this organization. 800-297-1516 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515
Click here to donate to this organization. http://www.savethechildren.org 800-728-3843 Mailing Address: 54 Wilton Road, Westport, CT, 06880
Click here to donate to this organization. Mailing Address: Lutheran World Relief, Indonesia Earthquake, P.O. Box 17061, Baltimore, MD 21298-9832
888-256-1900 (toll-free) Mailing Address: Mercy Corps, Dept W, P.O. Box 2669, Portland OR 97208 Click here to donate to this organization.Oxfam
Reuters reports other organizations, that don't yet a specific Indonesian earthquake appeal, are helping:
Indonesian Red Cross (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies)
Contact information for these organizations is available here.
Charity Navigator offers these suggestions to ensure your donations get to those who need it:
Give To An Established Charity: Don't let an unscrupulous charity take advantage of your goodwill. Find a charity with a proven track record of success with dealing with this region and this type of disaster. Even well-meaning new organizations will not have the infrastructure and knowledge of the region to efficiently maximize your gift. If you do feel compelled to give to a new charity, be sure to get proof that the group is in fact a registered public charity with 501 (c) (3) status.
Designate Your Gift: Worried that your donation will go towards the charity's general operating fund or saved for an upcoming crisis? This is a very understandable concern. Many charities do encourage donors not to designate their gifts so that the charity can decide how best to utilize the money, but depending on your confidence in the charity's ability to make that determination, you may want to tell the charity exactly how to use your gift. By designating your gift specifically for the earthquake relief efforts, you'll ensure that your donation will be used for the victims of this particular disaster.
Avoid Telemarketers: Be wary of fundraisers who pressure you to make a contribution over the phone. Never divulge your credit card information to someone soliciting you via the phone. Instead, ask the fundraiser to send you written information about the charity they represent and do some research on your own. Once you feel comfortable with the charity, send the organization a check directly in the mail, or give through their website, thus ensuring 100% of your gift goes to the charity and not the for-profit fundraiser.
Research And Follow Up: As always, take the time to find a charity you can trust. Be sure to follow up with the charity in a few months to find out (a) how your donation was put to use and (b) if they need additional support to complete the recovery effort.