Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Helping people and pandas

(Edited for picture)

We all, I trust, know what's going on in China. And I'll bet most of you want to send somebody something to help. Well, here you go, if you don't know already. While the Chinese government has many flaws, they at least want our help, which is something.

I'm ashamed to say that I only heard of MercyCorps today. I usually donate to the Red Cross, but it's difficult to donate to the Red Cross of China online. MercyCorps presents an attractive alternative. Basically, they work to alleviate the aftermath of natural disasters--they were there for Katrina victims and are working in Myanmar, too. They are non-sectarian. Charity Navigator gives them a high rating, and Fast Company endorsed them as well.

Doctors Without Borders is also going to China, and that's a charity L'Ailee and I know and love well. They do wonderful work and, again, are non-sectarian.

Those who know me knew this was coming. Sichuan is home not only to thousands of hurting people, but the vast majority of the world's less than 2,000 pandas, both wild and captive. Chengdu, BiFengXia, and most of all Wolong have done much to bring the panda population back up. (They are also where America's zoo-dwelling pandas were raised.) Wolong in particular was right at the center of the action, and it's where all those lovely photos of multiple panda cubs are taken. The little cutie above was a wild cub whose mother never came back for her, and rescued by Wolong staffers in December 2007.

All of their beautiful bears are reported safe. However, there are still tourists and staffers who haven't been heard from, there are panda females expecting cubs, there is a chance that some pandas may escape into the wild (which doesn't usually end well), and there will be a need to rebuild. While people are the priority, perhaps some of y'all may like to give a few extra dollars to Pandas International.

The silliness is below, and more will come soon.


Ange (formerly Writer Mom) said...

Thanks for these links.
I've been feeling sorry for myself because of a burst water pipe between bathrooms disrupting all of my other plans. I wasn't paying too close attention to headlines, consequently. I wasn't allowing myself to feel anything...SO then I spent this morning reading about the collapsed school...
And now I really need to do something.
At some point, when the kids are bigger, Tom and I hope to travel together so he can do dentists without borders (and I can write about it).
I will try and leave something for each link.
Thanks again, and I hope all's well.

Daisy said...

Thanks for the panda update, I knew I could count on you to have the links! (((Lilo)))

I started worrying about them last night!

alan said...

There is nothing silly about the size of your heart...your love of people...or this world!


Queers United said...

that bear is so adorable, it melts my heart

Carie said...

we gave to our local red cross for it, my daughters school also raised alot of money to help...its heart breaking seeing the images.

Ashley and I are going to donate to the pandas Friday (payday) thank you for the links :)

I just wish there was so much more I could do