Wise Giving Wednesday: Helping Nepal Earthquake Victims
Strong earthquakes are frightening, devastating and immediately pull on our heartstrings. Nepal’s earthquake is no exception. BBB Wise Giving Alliance encourages donors to respond but also be mindful of the giving tips in this link, which also includes a list of BBB Accredited Charities (i.e., charities that meet all 20 BBB Charity Standards) that are raising funds for various Nepal relief efforts.
Media headlines about the Nepal earthquake and other disasters grab our attention. The pictures are wrenching and the stories move us. However, it is important to recognize that disasters are not fully resolved after the initial fund raising frenzy is over. It’s actually a long term effort that will involve different charities at various stages of development: Emergency response, Disaster relief and Recovery.
At the Emergency Response stage, the focus is on search and rescue, saving lives, and providing immediate medical attention. This stage can last for five to ten days or more as relief workers sift through rubble, seeking trapped individuals, and helping others who were seriously hurt in the quake. This is the stage where the pictures and media cameras show us the horrible tragedy up close and motivate many of us to open our hearts and wallets to assist. Keep in mind that not every Nepal relief charity is engaged in emergency response activities. Visit the charity’s website to find out what their specific activities will be.
The Disaster Relief stage will involve the first month or more as the surviving population seeks temporary shelter, clothing, food and other essentials. Relief charities often remind donors not to send packages of donated clothing and canned goods. Although well intentioned, such efforts can create delivery challenges and other problems. Established charities prefer cash donations so that they can more easily get the items closest to the actual disaster in the quantities and types that are needed.
The Recovery stage can last for a year or more and will involve rebuilding homes and communities to help restore areas to their previous level of functionality. This takes proper planning and careful coordination with the impacted population.
So remember, the relief needs and activities don’t disappear when the headlines do. There are many opportunities to help and charities are counting on donors to think of them throughout the year as Nepal works its way from emergency response to recovery.
We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:
- Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America
- InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA
- Livestrong Foundation
- SIGN Fracture Care International
- WaterAid America
Finally, remember to let us know by going to https://give.org/ask-us-about-a-charity1/ if you are interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.
H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance