Thursday, December 30, 2004
I've already been chided (mildly and perhaps fairly, but chided all the same) for my quick and unreflecting promotion of the Red Cross. The truth is, my dad volunteered for the Red Cross when I was growing up in Connecticut and even served as local chairman for a term or two. Consequently, I was not only the first kid on my block to know what AIDS was, but my view of the Red Cross has always been a pretty positive one. All the same, our good friends at MoveOn have put their weight behind fellow intercappers OxFam, saying:

Our friends at Oxfam are already scrambling on the front lines to fight off starvation and disease -- and beginning to rebuild. Because Oxfam has worked for years with grassroots groups in the hardest hit areas, they were able to mobilize local leadership to help survivors immediately after the tsunami hit. And Oxfam will be there for the long-term, helping communities recover and regain their ability to meet basic needs. Oxfam needs to raise $5 million immediately to provide safe water, sanitation, food, shelter, and clothing to 36,000 families in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India. Your contribution can make this possible.

They've also set up a page where we can urge our representatives to be more aggressive in pledging support. Bush is promising to "take a lead" in offering aid to the countries affected, however (once again as pointed out by MoveOn):

The $35 million offered by the Bush administration seems like a lot of money, but it's insignificant compared to what's needed in a disaster relief effort than spans continents and is expected to be the most expensive in history. To put it in perspective, we're spending $35 million in Iraq every 7 hours.

Also remember that Bush's upcoming inauguration is expected to cost somewhere between 30 and 40 million American. $35 million certainly shouldn't seem like a lot of money to any DC residents, used to seeing the cost figures on baseball stadiums and the like...

In short, it's pocket change-- even for an initial pledge.

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