TV Asked to Spread Word: 'Send Cash'

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Relief organizations helping South Asia to deal with the tsunami aftermath are asking TV-news outlets to get the word out: no clothes, no canned food, no bottled water. Cash donations, not “stuff,” are what is needed.

"We're urging members of the media everywhere, from major television news programs to local radio stations, newspapers and even church newsletters, to harness the power of their media to set the record straight -- what survivors in South Asia need most of all right now is for concerned citizens to send cash donations to reputable organizations working in the areas affected," said Lisa Bonds, a spokeswoman for Lutheran World Relief.

"The nonprofits that work in the field, our partners there and even the U.S. Government, have been saying since day one not to send clothes and canned food and other household items," she added.

Governments of the affected countries and humanitarian organizations in those countries have been very clear about what is needed. “So far, none have requested tons of used clothing.”  Collecting neighbors' clothing and dry food and bottled water will create more work for weary relief agencies on the ground in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

As in previous disasters, donations of unwanted material can clog ports and roads and delay delivery of much-needed vital machinery and water pipes to affected communities, according to LWR.