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Right now the important things needed are hospital ships, helicopters, medical supplies, drinking water, food and shelters... I feel so helpless donating just cash, so many lives need to be helped.

Regarding 'just cash', I would like to quote the Red Cross:

"The best way to help a disaster victim is through a financial donation to the Red Cross. Financial contributions allow the Red Cross to purchase exactly what is needed for the disaster relief operation. Monetary donations also enable the Red Cross to purchase relief supplies close to the disaster site which avoids delays and transportation costs in getting basic necessities to disaster victims. Because the affected area has generally experienced significant economic loss, purchasing relief supplies in or close to the disaster site also helps to stimulate the weakened local economy."


Do not freaking donate to the Red Cross.

Find a local charity.

The Red Cross is HORRIBLY inefficient and wasteful. Your money is buying them furniture.

Firstly you can't throw claims like that around without a source, secondly I don't think now is the time to make FUD about which charity to donate to, thirdly that's tangential to what I was quoting (that cash is better than goods), and fourthly http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/10/typhoon-haiyan-...

edit: fifthly: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary...

Maybe they behave better in other parts of the world, but the Red Cross in the USA is everyone's knee-jerk reaction to throw money at, and they have many many issues:




(note all the resignations are different people!)



and there was a huge scandal where they used emergency fund donations to buy furniture for their offices - having trouble finding it right now

The controversies linked in the Wikipedia article seem pretty ho-hum for an organization the size of the Red Cross. Stuff like credit checks of volunteers, following the FDA's (stupid) rule on blood from homosexual males, a dispute with Johnson + Johnson, etc. hardly support the allegation of mass corruption in the group.

It pays my neighbour who is a nurse to go and work in Syria. It doesn't get much more direct than that.

I hire some people in the Philippines via oDesk. They are friendly, honest, hard working, trustworthy (I bought them a laptop and Kindle), speak English pretty well, and cost less than people in the US who do similar jobs, even if I believe I am paying them pretty well by local standards.

Luckily for them, they are far away from where the typhoon hit, but in terms of moving some money there, providing some work for people has funneled several orders of magnitude more cash into the country than what I could provide as charity.

+1 ~ I used to have two ladies in the Philippines do a little part-time research work for me via oDesk for my previous job. The were absolutely fantastic. Every time a disaster strikes there (which is frequent) I touch base to make sure they're ok. I can't recommend hiring some Filipinos to help augment a local team enough. It's a way to increase your own efficiency and help raise their standard of living at the same time.

Drinking water is mostly solvable if there's an aircraft carrier nearby: http://blogs.wsj.com/dispatch/2010/01/16/aircraft-carrier-pu...

Getting it beyond the port is the hard part, but carriers have a few tools that might help with that.

Nearly 480,000 people were displaced and 4.5 million "affected" by the typhoon in 36 provinces, the national disaster agency said, as relief agencies called for food, water, medicines and tarpaulins for the homeless.


Is there anything more one can do than donate money?

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