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Time is right to donate aid to earthquake victims in Ecuador and Japan.

The Community Foundation of Western Nevada cautions that people interested in helping to support global disasters do a bit of research before calling or going online to make a gift.  According to President & CEO, Chris Askin, “When we see images of destruction and suffering on television we can’t help but want to relieve suffering, but by waiting to find out how we can best help we can actually do more good than by making an immediate gift.”  The Center for Disaster Philanthropy website recommends donors do three things when faced with a natural disaster like the earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan:

  1. Watch. Wait two to four weeks after the disaster. The immediate rescue relief will have happened and the victims will need to rebuild. Unfortunately, this is exactly when the disaster is no longer news and critically needed donations drop off.
  2. Learn. Take the time to understand what is important to you. Do you want to help children, assist with medical needs, or rebuild schools and water supplies?
  3. Act. Now is the time to give cash to the organizations that are working in the affected region.

Bob Ottenhoff, President and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, recommends the following organizations to donors looking to make the biggest impact with their contributions.

Save the Children International: www.savethechildren.net    Teams are working to help keep children safe, ensure families’ essential needs are met, and open child-friendly spaces where children can play, learn, and recover.

Direct Relief: www.DirectRelief.org   works with local health institutions and programs to deliver needed medications, medical equipment, and nutritional items.

All Hands: www.hands.org   works with communities to meet their longer-term needs by rebuilding the basic “hubs” of a community, including homes, schools, day care facilities, and community centers by engaging volunteers.

Airlink: www.airlinkflight.org  helps transport pre-qualified nonprofit relief personnel and cargo in the wake of the earthquake through donated air transportation.

According to Ottenhoff, “90% of all giving occurs within 90 days. It is important to realize that your donation is as valuable or maybe even more important after the immediate relief is over and the victims face rebuilding their lives.”

For donors who may be interested in making more substantial gifts, consider contacting the Community Foundation.  The Community Foundation helps people who care with causes that matter through philanthropy and leadership and has experience in responding to global disasters.  For more information locally contact Tracy Turner, Chief Philanthropy Officer, at tturner@nevadafund.org  775-333-5499.

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