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Volume 7, Issue 3                                    University of Houston

If pocketbooks can heal, tsunami victims are OK

For once, money is good for something.

In the wake of one of the world's deadliest disasters, Americans have opened their pocketbooks, donating hundreds of millions of dollars to relief organizations like the American Red Cross and Oxfam. Celebrities like Sandra Bullock and Leonardo DiCaprio have chipped in a million apiece, NBC is organizing a star-studded fund-raising drive and former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush are leading a nationwide campaign.

Internationally, donations from governments is totaling more than $2 billion, with Japan leading the charge with its $500 million pledge. Here, lawmakers could be seeking long-term aid in upwards of $1 billion over the course of several years. On a political level, the disaster represents an opportunity to sow good will in a part of the world that does not look very favorably upon the United States. 

But the real reason for giving is not about politics or getting Muslims to be our friends. The reason for giving is to help those in need -- with no expectations of allegiance. The reason for giving is that more than 150,000 people died and millions are homeless and going hungry, and we have the power to help fix that. That's all the reason in the world.

It's encouraging to know that people have good in them -- enough good to sign a check, turn in a wad of cash or swipe a credit card. If we could do more, surely we would, but right now all we're being asked to do is make a donation and maybe say a prayer. 

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