Tuesday, March 02, 2010

How You Can Help

There are many people who have asked us if there's anything they can do to help out with the relief efforts following the earthquake in Chile on Saturday morning.  Der and I think that the best way for people to get money to us so we can pass it along is through PayPal.  We have a PayPal account under Derwin's name.  If you already have an account, just enter Der's email address in the Send space.  It's derwink@yahoo.com .  If you don't but would like to set an account up, email one of us and we will help you do it.  If you pay via PayPal Credit or through a bank account, we don't believe there are any charges.  We do ask you to please pay the transfer fees if paying by credit card, though.  Thanks.

Our nanny, Pascuala, came to work today and said that everything in her house is fine, thank goodness.  She said that there are some panels she will need to replace in her dining room but it's not essential so she's not worried about it for now.  Plus, she will need to put money away to be able to pay for it.  However, her father, sister and her husband live on a farm near Melipilla, which is southwest of Santiago.  His house was severely damaged by the earthquake.  The kitchen caved in and the rest of house is not in good condition.  The three of them are living in the one small room that is inhabitable.  He went to the municipality to see if they will help with the reconstruction and they said that there was nothing they could do.  He has to wait to get the quote, which will be at least 15 days, then it's up to him.  We, personally, will be donating our money to help Mr. Santibanez to reconstruct his house (if he will accept the help).

People from Der's school, Nido de Aguilas, are putting together a big shipment of necessary goods to send down to the areas in need.  We're collecting food, clothing, blankets, diapers, etc. to put in the shipment.  Any donations we get, we will buy these items to add to the shipment.

Un Techo Para Chile is a well-known organization here which helps build houses for those in need.  They have been around for many years and are a reputable organization.  They are taking donations specifically for the earthquake effort.  I don't know what percentage goes directly to the cause (and how much is for administrative costs) but I can't imagine it would be that high.  I do not recommend you sending a wire transfer to Chile as, in our experience, the costs are very high both to send and to receive.  It would be better to donate through your credit card.  You'll find a link in English, "Donate".

Thank you to everyone who wants to help out.  We really appreciate it. 

Update:  a friend of ours who has a bank account in the U.S. has given us his account number and routing number if you'd rather deposit money to his account.  He is the Assistant Principal of the Elementary School at Nido de Aguilas and will be helping with the food and clothing drive.  If you'd rather go this route, email us and we will give you the info.
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