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Updated: Dec 28, 2005

My current recommendation is that your efforts are best spent raising cold cash and donating it to a great NGO named ACTED. This, of course, could change, but for now, there you go.

There is a big need for winter clothes and blankets of any kind. I'm not sure where or how to donate these items, but get in touch with an international NGO (Red Cross, IFRC, IRC, Care International, Save the Children, CRS, PAI, others...) and you may be able to work it out.

All the below information is out of date, but it's left here for reference.

There is some confusion as to the state of donations; some groups are saying that it is too late to deliver tents, but most are still urgently requesting them. Some groups are reporting that they have an excess of material goods and no way to deliver them, some are still urgently requesting them. Some say that monetary donations are welcome but that the real shortage is in material access to goods -- i.e. there's not enough to buy, locally, and that vital items need to be sent rather than cash. I would trust whatever an individual group has to say... most can make best use of monetary donations that can bent spent as the moment-to-moment need determines.

According to most organizations, the greatest needs on the ground are currently shelter (winterized tents or other structures), medical supplies, and blankets/warm clothing. Arrangements for donating these items can be found via the websites on the main page.

Money is the easiest thing to give and easy for groups to deal with. It's probably also the most important. Any of the links under quake info can lead you quickly to donation pages for money or items (so-called "in-kind" donations.)

From the web:
"ICNA RELIEF is providing 2500 two layer Water-Proof Canvas 13'x13' Military Grade tents for Quake victims. Each tent costs them $89. Sponsor additional tents in large quantities by calling (732) 593-7017. Their supplier can deliver 750 tents per week. Donate to ICNA online."

Helicopters are often cited as the most desperate need. US citizens can go to http://saquake.org to fill out a very fast petition to lobby for more support (including helicopters). It took me about 45 seconds, whatever it's worth.

Please do not leave anything at the Redwood Peace and Justice Center for me to take - I am leaving very soon and they will not be open before I leave. If you would like to donate something, please contact me and we can try to make it work.

Generally speaking, I'm happy to take donations if you are worried about donating to large organizations and want to make sure that your money is being well spent, but I can tell you that there are many small groups working and your dollars are just as well spent at one of those as with me. Contact me if you'd like more info.

The tents needed to house families at high-elevations in the Himalayan winter must be 4-season and durable at a minimum. A list of desirable qualities found on the web:

-The larger the better (typically 12 X 12 feet)
-Thick cloth / Parachute
-Insulated paneling
-Ground layer (polyprop)
-Door flaps
-Material that is water and fireproof is preferable

A list of medical supplies needed found on the web follows. (I'm not sure which if any of these are controlled and not easily taken with me on an international flight, but there are US-based groups you can send supplies to for airlift). I don't know how accurate or up-to-date this list is, but I'm sure these items are useful. I'll try to get an updated list soon.

* Anti-Gas Gangrene Vaccine
* Anti-tetanus Vaccine
* First Aid Kits
* Surgical Sterilized Gauze
* Cough Syrups (Hydralline, Ventoline, Bricnyl etc.)
* Anti-Diarrhea Medication
* Bandages
* Splints
* Cannulas
* Hydrogen Peroxide
* Pyodene (Small Bottles)
* Scabene Lotion
* Folic Acid
* Anti-biotic Cream (Fucidin)
* Anti-biotic Oral (Preferably Third Generation: Tablets/Capsules/Suspensions)
* Pain Killers Oral (Tablets and Syrups)
* Anti-Hypertensive
* Anti-Fungal (Tablets, Ointment, and Solution)