I made a list of lots of changes I want to make this year. Among them, stopping smoking, getting my health under control, learning cgi, all sorts of things I have meant to do and haven't done. But there's a resolution we can ALL make, which is to work toward a better world.
As you know, tsunami survivors are still dying, due to starvation, exposure, and disease which are aftereffects of the disaster. There are many ways to help them, some do not even require a donation. Amazon.com has a convenient one-click way to donate to the Red Cross emergency relief project for this specific emergency. I gave, have you? eBay has an area where sellers can designate the proceeds or partial proceeds of their auctions directly to one of several organizations which is providing relief. Clicking daily at the Hunger Site provides food to starving people, including the tsunami victims, and it's free.
Other ways to make the world better:
escrip.com is a site where you can designate your existing credit cards, Safeway cards, etc to benefit world and local charities who have signed up for this program as fundraisers. Participants in the program include local restaurants, American Airlines, many hotels, Safeway, Dell, Avon, and a lot of major companies you probably use now and then. No donation is required, you just enter your participating merchant or card, and whatever percentage that vendor has agreed to will be given every time you use this card or service. It's a truly painless way to contribute to your favorite charities at no extra cost to you.
The Heifer Fund provides livestock, seedlings, and training to people all over the world. I have raved about this charity before because it provides sustainable resources which over time greatly reduce need on a permanent basis. Recipients are required to share the first offspring of their animals with someone else in their community, and to pass on their knowledge of caring for them. Heifer aims to end hunger permanently in the areas it helps, and they are doing a great job. Remember that tsunami victims will need livestock and agricultural help for longterm recovery long after news of this tragedy has faded from headlines. Saving lives now is of course first priority, but what these guys do saves lives for decades.
Doctors without Borders/Medecins sans Frontieres is a highly respected organization that sends emergency medical aid to anywhere in the world in need. I can't recommend this group highly enough. Your contribution helps pay to transport volunteer medical personnel into South Asia right now to save lives.
Usually my New Year's resolutions are focused on improving my own life. I've come to realize that's much too small. Let's all make a group resolution, to improve the lives of others.
Happy New Year! May this year bring you peace, and health, and safety.