W&L Student Organizations Collect Donations to Aid Tsunami Relief Efforts

Lexington, VA Tuesday, January 11, 2005Washington and Lee University's Club Asia and the International Development and Relief Group of SAIL (Student Association for International Learning) have initiated a fundraising effort to assist victims of the earthquake and tsunami that killed over 100,000 people and displaced five million survivors on Sunday, Dec. 26.

The student organizations hope to raise $5,000--enough to re-build 50 houses. Volunteers with a swipe machine will be at the Marketplace in the Elrod University Commons during lunch and dinner each day from Jan. 6-13 to accept donations.

In addition, donors may write checks payable to Washington and Lee University (note: Tsunami Relief Fund). Checks may be dropped off at the volunteer tables or sent directly to Center for International Education, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA, 24450.

All donations collected over the next week will be sent directly to Habitat for Humanity International's Asia Tsunami Response Fund. The money will be used to help Habitat families who were displaced or affected by the disaster and to help facilitate more home building in areas where families have been left without shelter because of the tsunami.

Habitat for Humanity currently works in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Because the Asia/Pacific region is deemed the world's most disaster prone region, Habitat International has a Disaster Response Office in the region to rebuild houses in disaster-stricken areas, and is well-placed and organized to provide both immediate and sustained assistance to those affected by the tsunami.

Local Habitat teams are already assessing and responding to the short- and long-term shelter needs and are working with other organizations to develop a prototype 'core' house that can be built for as little as $100 U.S. each, utilizing remaining materials from damaged homes.

Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga, is a Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. The organization is on the recommended list of reliable charities on the U.S. government Web site that President Bush referred to during his public request for donations from the United States.

For more information on Habitat for Humanity's relief efforts, visit www.habitat.org/.
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