Here is the text of a letter I initially wrote to a visitor on our site. I think it says it all, right now, especially given that it's 2:30am and I have to be someplace at 7.

We really, really appreciate that people are giving so much care to our efforts. Right now there is a huge problem getting stuff through the airport and customs and sorting; we are using our funds to purchase goods not donated or received. Most of these things are available in adequate supply here in Sri Lanka. Additionally, when we buy aid supplies with donated money, we don't have to spend time cataloguing and processing shipments. We are glad to get them, of course, but the time- and personnel- and infrastructure delays are dramatic.

The best thing you can do is donate money to our effort via our main website, www.sarvodaya.org, and encourage your friends, family, and any contacts you have to do the same. If you have any way to spread the word via websites, blogs, etc. we can use lots of publicity.

It's natural to want to do something direct (like collecting and shipping supplies) but actually more useful to help get the word out about fundraising. I personally understand this tension: I am an American resident of Sri Lanka who's frustrated to be sitting in an office working on a computer when I could be riding in a truck handing out bottles of water and food supplies. However my minimal computer and web-developing skills make me maximally useful in the office. Perhaps later I can go on a convoy to the field, but for now, the photos and descriptions I am working with are nearly as far from me as they are from you.

Again, thank you so much for your support and please help get the word out! We have many months of work ahead of us and your help will make it all possible.

Best Wishes,
Sarvodaya Web Team


Anonymous said...

Your cousin posted your link here (I'm in Boston at HM) so I popped in to check out your blog. We have friends in Mawathagama and received an e-mail that they are fine (60 m. from the coast). Last Christmas they vacationed on the southern coast so they are obviously thankful that this year they stayed home. My friend is a brewery production manager at United Breweries there in Sri Lanka. Best of luck over there. My kids (they are 12 and 9)came up to me and handed me a significant chunk of their Christmas money and asked me to donate it to the relief fund. I was quite proud as you can imagine. We donated to the Red Cross via the Amazon.Com site. I guess donations are pouring in.

Anonymous said...

Hey Becca - it's Joy - glad to see you're safe and doing all you can to help out. Hopefully I'll have a chance to get out to SE Asia to help with the long-term recovery in the next year, but until then my thoughts, prayers, and money are over there with you. And we'll toast your efforts at the CommProm!