Posted: May 22nd, 2013 | Author: Lori Harvill Moore | Filed under: Volunteering | Tags: clean water, earthquake relief and volunteering, food, nuclear, subduction, supplies, tsunami | No Comments »
Just three days after one of the worst earthquakes in recorded history, Japanese officials are scrambling to deal with the devastation from the subduction quake event and the aftermath of the resulting tsunami while trying to avoid a nuclear meltdown. While there is growing concern about shortages of clean drinking water and food, first responders are assembling to aid in search and rescue efforts and to assist with massive clean up operations. The best way to assist with earthquake relief and volunteering is to make direct monetary donations to agencies with immediate involvement.
Transportation Is Costly
If giving service to the community is a strongly held value, it is normal to want to do more than send money. However with a disaster of this magnitude transportation and the distribution of supplies is best left to existing agencies. Cost and accessibility work against timely and vital supplies getting through from outside sources. Patrick Rooney, executive director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, who was interviewed for an article by Jessica Dickler of CNN on March 12, said, “Give money, not food, water and clothes. There’s a much higher shipping cost for supplies and it’s easier for disaster organizations to get cash and use it as they need to.”
Rooney further advises that those wanting to give should donate to the Red Cross and Save the Children because both organizations maintain a presence in the affected area. These highly reputable agencies will be able to assess the situation and use the funds to purchase the exact supplies that are needed at a given time, efficiently applying the money for earthquake relief and volunteering.
Relief Teams Need Donations
Another group providing much-need earthquake relief and volunteering to those affected by the 8.9-magnitude earthquake is the International Medical Corps. “We are putting together relief teams, as well as supplies, and are in contact with partners in Japan and other affected countries to assess needs and coordinate our activities,” said Nancy Aossey, President & CEO, International Medical Corps. “While Japan has a large capacity to manage a disaster of this scale, we will respond as needed.” According to the group’s website, programs directly receive 92% of all donations.
Shelter Box USA, Inc., accepts ongoing donations to fill boxes and warehouse the supplies for delivery to those who survive disasters. The group arranges transportation for delivery of the boxes through their Shelter Box Response Team. Those wishing to help with this group’s earthquake relief and volunteering work can make small donations towards one $1,000 box.
Donate to Verified Groups
Before donating, make sure that the organization requesting funds is legitimate and verifiable. Also, not all agencies claiming non-profit status have the 501(C) designation that allows donors to take a tax deduction for the monetary assistance they provided. A further caution is to guard against unsolicited emails requesting money for disaster relief. Contact The National Center for Disaster Fraud if you suspect someone of using this or other disasters as a means for personal gain.
Making a monetary donation to an established agency already poised to make strides through coordinated earthquake relief and volunteering efforts is the best and quickest way to aid survivors in Japan. It is also the best way to make sure that those who have gone through this ordeal receive the supplies they need the most.
Posted: May 20th, 2013 | Author: Lori Harvill Moore | Filed under: Volunteering | Tags: cancer, Cycle for Survival, Fred's Team, marathon, volunteer nyc | No Comments »
Each year cyclists and runners in New York City and elsewhere volunteer to raise funds to benefit cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). The proceeds go to support programs that focus on the disease at the cellular and molecular levels to uncover the best methods of treating rare cancers. The Volunteer NYC Campaign recognizes contributions made by two groups determined to see an eventual end to this disease.
Cycle for Survival Growing
Cycle for Survival is an indoor cycling event that was started in 2007 by Jennifer Goodman Linn, who had been a patient at MSKCC. To date, the group has raised $4.5 million and, according to a video on the website, has succeeded in funding 13 clinical trials and research studies. This year Cycle for Survival expanded from a volunteer NYC event to Chicago, San Francisco and 50 satellite locations throughout the world. On February 6, 12 and 13, 2011, Cycle for Survival held its yearly fundraiser, and the top ten teams alone have raised nearly one million dollars. More than 4,500 cyclists participated at Equinox Fitness Club locations in Manhattan, Chicago, and Long Island.
Some of the Cycle for Survival teams are named for a cancer survivor or for someone that is currently fighting the disease. Each of the top 10 teams has its own page, and you can see the story that motivates each person to participate at a high level. Visit the main site and click on one of the groups listed in the lower middle of the web page.
Fred’s Team Races for Aubrey Fund
Another group – Fred’s Team – has been holding marathons since 1995 to raise research funds for MSKCC. Those who started the group named the team in honor of Fred Labow, who was a co-founder of the New York City Marathon and also a patient at MSKCC in the early 1990s. From seasoned athletes to beginners, runners have brought in $42 million during the years since the team’s founding, with primary support given to the Aubrey Fund for Pediatric Cancer Research. Since 1997, Fred’s Team has raised money specifically for research into childhood cancers, such as leukemia, neuroblastoma, brain tumors, and some forms of sarcoma.
On November 7, 2010, Fred’s Team members, in true volunteer NYC style, ran the 2010 ING New York City Marathon, and its nearly 800 members raised $4 million for MSKCC research. Earlier in the year the Fred’s Team participated in the Boston Marathon, the New York City Half-Marathon, and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
In addition to the larger well-known running events, some of the members of Fred’s Team turned other occasions into fundraisers, with volunteers participating in hikes, bike races, triathlons, and lesser-known marathons. The Fred’s Team website offers three ways to get involved: support a member, donate to the Aubrey Fund, or volunteer for the team. Like the Cycle for Survival groups, Fred’s Team has extended its reach beyond local volunteer NYC opportunities to world wide participation in its “race against cancer.”
Researchers and doctors at MSKCC continue to make strides toward better therapies and treatments for a variety of rare cancers that afflict 50% of cancer patients, according to Jennifer’s video. The advances made at this private center are a testament to the spirit and perseverance epitomized by such volunteer NYC groups as Cycle for Survival and Fred’s Team.
photo credit: Pabo76