How to help Jakarta's flood victims?

Some people have written me, asking how they could help some of the victims of the flood. It may be hard to believe, as not that many people lost their lives; but so many families have lost everything in the flood. Unfortunately, those people who lost everything are also the ones that would never have had insurance or some kind of safekeeping for their belongings. At minimum, I was able to put our important things on the second story of my home – most of those who have little to begin with didn’t have that option.

At my place of work, we have a support staff of Indonesians; many of them lost everything in the flood. One of my assistants had a baby last week – his home was under 2 meters of water only days before the birth.

I have not heard of any donation sites, nor do I truly trust the major organizations; it’s difficult to know where the money goes at times. In my case, I prefer to give directly, not through a middle-man, but I realize I have the benefit of living here.

If anyone has any ideas on how those people who reside in other countries could help, please let me know. For now, the only thing I can think of is to follow what one of my co-workers is doing. She said many of her friends and family expressed interest in helping, so she had them deposit whatever amount they wished to donate into her bank account. She simply kept track of it and donated food, supplies, and money in their name. I’m willing to do the same, but realize how it may cause hesitation on the part of those who don’t truly know me in ‘real’ life. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while (some of you since 2002), then hopefully you feel you can trust me as a person to do the right thing if you do choose to donate. However, I completely understand those who are uncomfortable donating in that way.

If you have any interest in pursuing this, I’d be happy to discuss it further over email. I’ll be donating food, clothing, and money this coming week regardless. As I said, if you have any other ways of donating, more power to you. I just prefer to know exactly where my donations are going.