Monday, March 1, 2010

How to help Chile earthquake victims

It is becoming clearer and clearer to me just how lucky I am. Neither I nor anyone I know was hurt in the 8.8 earthquake that hit Chile early Saturday morning, at least not that I'm aware of at the moment. The house where I live suffered some damage, but it was minor compared to the destruction I've seen on TV and around the city. I had electricity, running water and internet within hours of the earthquake and have quick, reliable access to public transportation.

So many people in this country are experiencing a very different reality right now. There are people in Concepcion without food, water or shelter. When I arrived at work today, I learned that most of my coworkers still had no electricity at home and that one of them had lost her house. Her entire house. It just fell down.

So what I and all the other lucky people out there have to do now is help. I feel that the media here has been so focused on reporting the tragedy that they haven't devoted enough time to spreading the word about how we can support relief efforts. Here are some options:

1. Drop off clothing, blankets, diapers, cleaning supplies and non-perishable food at the Cruz Roja warehouse at Seminario 973 in Nunoa. It's very easy to get there by Metro (Irarrazaval, now in service) or bus (Grecia, Irarrazaval or Vicuna Mackenna). When I went to drop off food this morning, the volunteers working there said people had been throwing donations over the warehouse gate the night before. It's great to hear that so many people want to help.

2. Drop these items off at the headquarters of the University of Chile's student federation, the FECh, located at Periodista Jose Carrasco Tapia 9 (Metro Baquedano). Student groups are taking donations to affected areas like Parral.

3. Hop on your bike and bring these items to Plaza Italia (Metro Baquedano) tomorrow (Tuesday) at 8 p.m. Everyone will then pedal to Cruz Roja together.

4. Donate to Cruz Roja. From Chile: BancoEstado account 362883, RUT 70512100-1, From abroad: CitiBank account 9941973331, ABA 021000089.

5. Read about other ways to help here (Google's earthquake relief page), here (Publimetro) and here (Emol). Clare and Emily have also posted about how to lend a hand.

6. Spread the word! I've learned more about relief efforts through Twitter and Facebook than through news broadcasts. Those of us lucky enough to have internet should use it to help those in need.

Thank you!


Sara said...

I retweeted this!

Leigh said...

Thank you so much, Sara! Have you been able to get in touch with your gente in Chile?

dregonzrob said...

Thank you for posting this! We're going to get a bunch of stuff together and take it over to one of these places.
We are so fortunate and it's our duty to help in any way possible, even if it's retweeting!! (Which I'm about to do as well!)

Abby said...

Thanks for this Leigh! I linked to you in my most recent post. Great post. I just went through my closets and came up with a big bag of clothes.

Leigh said...

Clare also posted some helpful information about how to lend a hand:

Khakjaan Wessington said...

Fraternizing With the Help [Today's News Poem, March 1, 2010]

“One man says that the real crisis is about to begin, with people out of work and hungry.”

“It was still unclear how many people died in Dichato, where distraught residents wandered the picturesque tourist town trying to salvage possessions and gazing at their ruined homes in scenes reminiscent of the Asian tsunami in 2004 that smashed into coastlines from Thailand to India.”
--Mario Naranjo, Mon Mar 1, 2010 2:25pm EST

“Economists' confidence in Chile's ability to bounce back from the earthquake has been strengthened by the fact its copper mines suffered minimum damage, and soon resumed operations. ”

A fool takes torch to that which nature yet abhors.
Why burn or blast a place that wilts by self's accord?
When quakes, tornadoes, floods ensure whatever shore
Or neighborhood the wealthy—who are simply bored—
Desire, they get, then who needs legal theft? The shock
Of quakes can do what we would have to pay, for free.
It's true the poor are drowned again—with ink—but stocks
Appreciate post-bounce. This rising tide—it frees
A market force. Renewed. The people are renewed
With fops who found their homes on graves and rubble-bones.
The highest use for anything is wealth. Denude
The land of serfs with surf, replaced with finer tones
Of speech and class—they've carried me on broken spines
Around the world: a working man will tend not whine.
Now carry me to bed anon—I'm drunk on wine.

Ale Gomez said...

hay algo que se pueda hacer desde afuera??.. si sabes de algo avisame, me gustaria mucho hacer algo!!
Es bueno saber que estas bien :)

Leigh said...

Me alegro de que quieras ayudar, Ale. En la siguiente pagina, Google reune los nombres de las distintas organizaciones que estan recibiendo ayuda:

Nat said...

Thanks for posting this. I've linked to it on my blog just in case anyone in Chile comes across it (the blog is really for people at home)

Colleen said...

does anybody know how a gringa up north in the US can help out down south? i'm looking for an organization to join so i can fly out there, but i'm not having any luck! have you heard about any international relief organizations bringing people to Chile to help?

Rodrigo Stockebrand said...

Hola, Excelente Post!!

Acabo de llegar a Chile desde EEUU para ayudar con la recuperacion del terremoto, pero no se como.

Do you happen to know of any volunteering going on this week (starting Monday, March 21st?) or ways that we can help?

Thanks, y mucho saludos!
Rodrigo (

Leigh said...

A., thanks for helping!

Ale, creo que hay formas de donar desde el extranjero. La Cruz Roja seria una opcion. Revisa la pagina Google (el link esta en mi post) para averiguar sobre otras organizaciones.

Nat, thanks for linking!

Colleen, I don't know which organizations are receiving foreign volunteers. You might want to ask at an international organization like the Red Cross. Check the bottom of this comment for more links.

Rodrigo, que bueno que hayas viajado para ayudar. Te recomiendo que consultes en Un Techo para Chile y, en el caso de que seas estudiante o de que lo hayas sido recientemente, la FECh. Dependiendo de tu formacion/oficio, te podria servir tambien la informacion que pongo a continuacion:

Everyone, check out the following links for more ideas about how to help. Some places are looking for people with specific skills. Clare's post (linked above) mentions some of these.

As long as you're on Plataforma Urbana's blog, click on tags like "terremoto" and "terremoto2010." More things come up.