The e-mail below is rom a friend.
By way of comment and disclaimer: Hidaya is driven by religious people and is something that has formed around people that go to the MCA (local mosque) a lot and work through like-minded organizations, they are not officially a religious organization or, to my knowledge, picky about who they help.
And what I like about Hidaya is that it has really done what all of us dream about in the NGO world or the corporate world--started work with the "home country" and community of the founders and now has expanded
operations to other South Asian countries.
From: "Faraz Hoodbhoy"
Subject: Asia Quake and Tidal Disaster Relief Fund
Date: 12/28/2004 11:39:38 AM
Hi and Happy Holidays to you and yours!
In this time of holiday cheer, it’s possible that we sometimes overlook opportunities where we can help make the world a better place. As you’re aware, the recent natural disaster in Asia has been characterized as the single worst humanitarian disaster of our lifetime. But there is much that we can do to help, and I’d like to ask for your support in helping provide relief to the people affected by the Asia quake and the ensuing tidal disaster.
I'm currently helping out at a California non-profit organization called Hidaya (http://hidaya.org) for fund raising for the victims of the Asia Quake and Tidal Disaster. We're collecting to send a contingent of doctors and medical personnel and supplies from Pakistan, the US, and other areas to affected areas in Sri Lanka (initially) where the death toll is greater than 12,000 and the devastation is more than half of that nation's economy.
These people need our help and Hidaya is working with organizations that are on the ground in Sri Lanka conducting daily operations, e.g. now the organization we are working with, Muslimaat, is a women's organization that is helping collect the 5,000+ bodies that are still scattered around the city and provide burial services before the bodies rot and start to become disease centers.
Hidaya is similarly working with organizations in Indonesia, India, and Bangladesh.
What I ask from you is to please contribute generously (i.e. truly give till it hurts) to the fund that Hidaya is collecting for augmenting relief efforts. Hidaya accepts credit card payments online at http://hidaya.org/ and of course, all donations are tax deductible.
This is truly the worst human disaster we have ever seen -- please help in whatever way you can, financially, as well as time if you can.
BTW, Hidaya is just one group that is doing good work and I can personally vouch for the fact that money sent to it is going to where it is most needed. But if you prefer, please help out in anyway you can to any similar organization. An interesting fact I learned at Hidaya yesterday is that with just $20,000 they were able to provide a meal for 180,000 people in Bangladesh last year. Truly, every dollar you can spare can make a HUGE difference.
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