The Chronicle’s View: Tsunami victims still need our help

The recent earthquakes in Indonesia were more than most people could believe. How much more tragedy will people in this part of the world have to go through?

Talk about being kicked while down. Relief to tsunami victims is still insufficient and now they’re in need of even more. For the rest of us in other parts of the world, this is truly one of the “times that try men’s souls.”

Donating relief for victims, especially those in Banda Aceh, was very popular a few months ago. But it seems that charity was only a fad. The victims are still in need, but the number of people thinking of them seems to be dwindling.

The cover story on April 6’s New York Times emphasized that tens of thousands of bodies still lie scattered in the rubble. Very little has been done to rebuild and restore coastal fishing villages.

The Times criticized the Indonesian government for not giving the funds it has received to the hardest-hit areas. Some relief organizations defend their tortoise pace by saying an effort of this magnitude requires careful planning.

Hopefully more is done faster, but logistical matters are out of the control of the average person.

Continuing to fund relief efforts is, however, within the means of every human being, including U students.

A great plan is useless unless there is money, food, health care and hygiene items available to be distributed.

The terrible earthquakes that occurred several days ago should remind U students that there are still hungry, homeless and distraught people who need our help.

Even the tightest of budgets can afford an extra $5 or $10 to give to an agency that will forward the help.

The paybacks will be enormous. College students are often criticized as being the most selfish age group of people. Selfishness is the fastest and easiest way to become unhappy. The warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from packing a sack lunch instead of eating out to afford a $5 donation is worth far more than the money.

Donating also increases one’s personal level of charity and kindness that will breed new friendships and open doors of opportunity.

In the long run, the relief will show the world that Americans are not as egocentric as our enemies love to portray.