Friday, October 2, 2009

One Good Way to Help Asia Pacific Disaster Victims

With the typhoon-spawned flooding in the Philippines, deadly tsunami in Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga, a lethal earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia - all striking within a few days of one another - many thousands of people in the Asia Pacific region need our help.

One good way to help them is to donate money for relief supplies. The Bangkok-based Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has launched a disaster relief fund that, combined with other, multiple rescue and relief efforts, can make life a bit easier for people in stricken areas. For the moment, the PATA fund is accepting only paper checks snail-mailed to its bank (details below), but will begin accepting online donations and credit card contributions next week. Updates and donation details will be posted on the organization's Web site,, next week. A nonprofit professional association of tourist boards, hotels, tour operators, airlines, airports and other travel industry vendors, PATA has been around since 1946. Having dealt with PATA as a journalist over the past 15 years, I can vouch that the organization is legit.

For now, donation details are as follows:

Donors can specify what country or region they want their money to reach, or contribute to the general fund. Donations should be made in U.S. dollars.

Account name: Pacific Asia Travel Association
Bank Name: Bank of the West
Bank Address: 505 Montgomery St., San Francisco, CA 94111 USA
Account Number: 773030408
Swift Code: BWSTUS66

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