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Donations through PayPal were not an option until today. Here are some of my reflections on the tsunami crisis.
As of Wednesday or so, I was looking for a way to use some of the small amount of cash lying around in my PayPal fund to send off to a charity for the specific benefit of tsunami/earthquake victims in southern Asia. At that point, PayPal had provided little in the way of funnelling funding directly to any charities. I noticed a lot of criticism also on an eBay bulletin board that there was no official PayPal fund provided, but I'm gratified to see today that they arranged a special fund for Unicef.
I sent some money to the Red Cross via Amazon, although I wasn't thrilled about using my credit card and giving those CC bloodsuckers more interest money. I was talking a bit about that with my Dad and he began talking about mangroves in Asia. I had no idea where he was going at first, but apparently, one reason the tsunamis were so devastating in certain areas was the removal of mangrove forests along coastlines to make way for development for tourism. Among other ecological roles, mangrove forests can act as a buffer to tsunamis, cyclones and similar rough coastal weather.
As we continue to care for immediate needs of those folks whose lives have been turned upside-down by this disaster, I think we should also consider the long-term things we can support to lessen the impact of future similar disasters. Mangrove restoration (along with other ideas, like early warning systems), can be one of those important efforts. I don't think that many developing nations, who are trying to encourage tourism and improve their economies, will be able to do much for their native mangroves without the support and encouragement from others around the world.