The Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia are now recovering from the devastation of two typhoons, Ketsana and Parma that battered the island within days of each other. We also have earthquakes in Indonesia and tsunami in Samoa.
Back in 2005, Southeast Asia was savaged by a whopping 13 typhoons by October. The region has 9 typhoons this year thus far. Whenever disaster strikes, there will always be charity organizations or individuals claiming to collect money to help the victims. Everyone should exercise caution and only donate to organizations and individuals that you trust.
In 2005, I donated to local Asian charities, the Red Cross, and World Vision to aid the typhoon victims. I remember many people were giving cash to a charity organizer and there was just something about that lady that I didn't trust but I reserved my thoughts about her because I didn't want to discourage people from other people. I asked my mom if she trusted this woman and my mom's answer was what stopped my negative thinking about that lady. My mom said, "When you help others, do it from your heart. Don't worry if there are charity scams out there. Revenge is in God's hands. He will take care of those scammers". I learned a valuable lesson from my mom that day and I find myself recycling my mom's message to other people.
I completely understand why some people hesitant to donate money to charities. It's because of the bad publicity of some shady charity organizations. The logic behind their fear is reasonable: the bigger the charity organization, the higher the administrative costs to operate the organization. I'm sure not everyone working for United Way, for example, works for free. On the other hand, if you donate to say, a friend who will fly to the disaster stricken country to hand the money to the locals, you risk the chance of that person taking off with the money. I hold my mom's words close to heart though. For the past week, with the tsunami in Samoa and typhoons in Southeast Asia, I open my heart and wallet and donate what I can to help them because regardless of what the outcome of where my money went, I know I am doing the right thing.