Help with the relief effort

I was reminded Monday evening, by my aunt who lives in Powell River, B.C., that Canada has suffered the effects of a tsunami.
Aunt Gene was telling me of the March 28, 1964 earthquake in Alaska that spawned a tsunami that ran down the west coast of Canada—reaching all the way to the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.
Her memories of the waters rushing up to Port Alberni, B.C., flooding the shoreline of that west coast community, still are clear in her mind. Fortunately, no lives were lost in Canada.
Yesterday, she was making a donation to the Red Cross to help in relief assistance in the East Asia nations that had been devastated by tsunamis on Sunday.
The joy of Christmas that was being celebrated around the world was quickly subdued as the pictures of the tragedy of death and destruction began unfolding on TV sets.
We may have experienced wind shears and tornado-like winds in our area, but it is hard to imagine walls of water 10-15 meters tall coming at us and traveling inland until the power of the water was subdued.
The pictures of the destruction of buildings, bridges, and homes are horrific, and the bodies of men, women, and children being laid out in long rows is hard to grasp.
Sri Lanka’s death toll had grown to 18,000 by yesterday morning while the death total in nations surrounding the Indian Ocean had reached 45,000, with thousands more people still unaccounted for.
Millions have lost their homes and belongings. Hundreds of thousands are without potable water.
The Canadian government already has committed $4 million in assistance to the region, and ordinary Canadians were making calls to the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, World Vision, UNICEF Canada, and the Mennonite Central Committee offering funds to assist in relief efforts.
As a spokesperson from the Canadian Red Cross explained Monday evening, the gift of dollars enables these organizations to act more quickly to get supplies to the areas.
Those supplies can be purchased much more closely to the disaster—often at a fraction of the price of shipping similar items from Canada. And the funds can be moved instantly around the world.
As Canadians, we have just celebrated the wealth of our country through the Christmas season.
Perhaps we can find a few more dollars and celebrate the generosity of our country by making a 2005 donation to help restart the lives of people who were devastated by the tsunamis in the Indian Ocean.

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