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BSA's Response to Southern Asia Disaster

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Used clothing.


That seems like a good idea.


The used clothing has to be gathered up from donors, collected in a central location, taken to whoever is shipping it, packed and prepared for shipment, moved (almost certainly by air) halfway around the world, unloaded, sorted, transported by the now mostly destroyed road network, and then distributed.


Can anyone guess what the cost of all that is? I would be willing to bet it is higher than the cost of buying them new locally produced clothing.


Plus, it will take quite a while to do, even before you factor in various delays. Keep in mind, airlift capacity is limited and will for the short term be dedicated to the most immediate needs such as water, food, and medical supplies.


While clothing is an immediate need, the used clothing drive is not a valid way of meeting such a need. (Though it would be a fine way to meet an immediate need if a disaster hit close to home.)


Perhaps after the immediate needs are met, used clothing could be shipped to the area.


At the current time, I would suggest collecting the used clothing and giving it to a local organization. You could of coarse suggest that local organization consider donating the excess the the disaster relief effort.


I am all in favor of helping those in need, but we need to consider the needs, our abilities, and how to best match our abilities with the needs of others.


I only mention this because I have heard a couple of reports from organizations that say that while they can find uses for clothing, canned foods, etc, they really can make better use of money in the case of the disaster in Asia.

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I too checked into "like kind" donations (clothing and other items instead of money) I did find one place willing to receive and distribute them to the tsunami areas but it was overseas and the shipping charge would have been more than my poor little pack could afford. My suggestion on this is to send "like kind" donations to the still hurricane raveged Florida cities. We do still have people here in our country that are in need.


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At our troop meeting last night the boys suggested cancelling our spring trip to Florida and use the money instead for the tsunami disaster.


I suggested that we keep our Florida trip intact and maybe consider some additional action to help the tsunami victims. There will be needs in both places for quite some time.


Talking to a person in Florida, he says much of the private damage has been repaired, but many public areas still need to be cleaned up. We plan to buddy up with a Florida unit to help clean up a public area.


Southeast Asia mostly needs dollars at this point. Does anyone have any clever ideas for raising funds for tsunami relief?



Cliff Golden

Scoutmaster Troop 33

DeKalb, Illinois

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I have a great fundraising idea.

I would pay good money if CNN would stop showing the heart wrenching stories of:

man searching for pregnant wife and child

woman searching for child swept from arms

child searching for parents

and all of the other equally horrifying stories of survival and loss.

I feel for these people but there is just so much that I can take. They don't need their stories out there as much as our news networks put them. Give them some dignified time to mourn and let me go through the day without picturing my own child being swept away (and thanking God that it wasn't.)

I would pay, many of us would pay.


Please don't take this post the wrong way, I truly empathise but just can't handle all of the grief.

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A friend has responded. I decided to share it, names removed. The family seems to have survived. His message in full:


"Hello !!

Yes, we are all O.K. #### is running doctors and volunteers into Aceh though DF. I am in Medan, North Sumatra listening to the helicopters fly back and forth (saw a US Marine General in the lobby of my hotel a few hours ago.. not a usual sight in Indonesia!) and setting up an office that will support some reconstruction work in coming months (a USAID Environmental project). and Im working with #### who have survived a nightmare.


Your donation to UNICEF(the best of UN agencies) will really help all donations help and are much appreciated I assure you. It is especially good to know that people on the other side of the world understand and truly care about the people in Aceh and North Sumatra..

Hope you are all well and happy in the New Year!

Please take care, ####"



The part about donations to UNICEF is particularly useful guidance for getting the most effective aid to them.

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Talking about the Southern Asia disaster, did anyone else catch the brief clip on ABC's Good Morning America this morning? They had a clip of one surfer from the US who stayed with his friend and helped out with the injured after they escaped the clamity. The report went on describing this young man (about 22+) not having any medical experience other than first aid skills that he learned as a scout. They both worked with the local medical staff (what ever is left of the staff) to assist with the injured working 14-16 hours a day.


I felt prouder than proud!


(This message has been edited by OneHour)

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I think we help because we can.

We as Scouts are honor bound. Politics just don't play any part.

Many of us in this forum are Christian, again I think as Christians are bound to go out and help those in need.

I have to wonder if the young Lad living in one of these countries who has been indoctrinated to hate the west and western values is questioning his values when he sees the American Military personal land with aid. I wonder if he is asking where is Osama Bin Laden? What is he doing to help?

The USA is the only true world super power,we who live here are so very fortunate, what we give in aid seems to always be more and always seems to be the first to arrive. But I am so proud to live in the land that is first and does more.

The cost of a few cartons of cigarettes is not going to hurt me. The inter-net has made making even small donation a two minute chore. I think I seen that it costs twenty dollars to buy the antibiotics needed to keep a kid alive. It's a no brainer. That along with a few prayers, I'm happy to give.


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I was stunned to learn today that my govt has pledged $1 000 000 000 in aid. I didn''t think we had that in the bank! Apparently it sets some sort of world record.


Obviously it is meant for immediate help and for reconstruction, also that we have a vested interest in good relations with the effected nations. I hope it works for all of those reasons.

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I have read the BSA statement and can't help feeling that it lacks something?

I receive E-mails from the communications department at Gilwell Pack, the Brits and the Scout Association seem to be doing a lot more.

Why can't we come up with a patch that would sell for about $5.00 and donate the profits?


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