>Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 11:42:33 -0800 (PST)
>Subject: An Open Suitcase of Relief
>Every morning I check the news and the human death figure for the South
>Asia tsunami disaster nearly doubles. Considering I have been to many of
>these places, I am somewhat in shock (as I know you are).
>Right now, the death toll is 114,000. That's twice as many Americans that
>in the Vietnam War over a decade, and this figure represents only the ones
>washed up and counted! With the impending diseases we are forecasting
>nearly a million will ultimately perish when all is said and done. Indeed,
>we are looking at the largest catastrophe of lost human lives in the
>What a disgrace the US has only pledged $35 million -- A star ball
>player's salary or a luxury home in the Bay Area -- for over 5 million
>displaced? What's that, $7 per person? Gee, thanks for the bowl of rice
>and can of beans Uncle Sam. Compare that to the $500 million spent in Iraq
>/ Afghanistan EVERY DAY ...
>In three weeks, I am going to Malaysia for a travel conference I'm told
>will go on as scheduled. Being who I am and with the ability I have to
>help I can not simply spend my second week on a beach living large. I will
>be going with relief supplies to distribute as best I can where I can.
>Depending on the conditions at the end of January my initial plan was to
>go to northwestern Sumatra, the region hardest hit. If independent travel
>is not allowed or if disease is rampant I will go to western Thailand
>One way or another I am going to a stricken region in less than a month. I
>was going to donate money to a charitable organization but now I see I can
>do much more by going there to help. It occurred to me that I should put
>out a request for relief supplies to my email list and see if any of you
>would like to help make a difference. I personally guarantee 100% of your
>donation will go directly to the survivors I meet. Of course I will report
>on the distribution when I return.
>Here's what I am offering.
>I will only take one carry-on bag of personal effects. That leaves three
>open suitcases I would like to fill with relief items. High impact items I
>would like to distribute include:
>1. water filters
>2. water purification tablets (iodine pills, etc.)
>4. pain relief (Tylenol, aspirin, etc.)
>5. Cholera or malaria medicine
>6. and of course cash. As I said, 100% will go directly to victims. You
>can tell me if you'd like me to spend the money purchasing local medicine
>when I get there to distribute, or to make a direct cash donation to an
>orphaned child, or a particularly stricken family. I will keep exact
>records of all my distributions.
>To send a check or any relief supplies, please mail them to:
>530 8th Avenue
>San Francisco, CA 94118
>I do believe individuals can make a difference ...
>"Let the world change you ...
>and you can change the world."
>-- from The Motorcycle Diaries