Several prominent local organizations are urgently asking Bay Area residents and BART riders to raise enough money before Thursday, January 13th to send the equivalent of a BART train full of bottled water to the tsunami victims.
This is an ambitious effort called “The Bay Area Tsunami Relief Train.” Project Concern International, Singapore Airlines, Safeway Inc.'s Northern California Division, Grant and Smith, LLP, Wells Fargo Bank and BART are organizing the effort, but it will be the generous donations of Bay Area residents that will make the Bay Area Tsunami Relief Train a reality.
In fact, a donation of as little as $1.00 will buy enough water for eight people. Thanks to this unique alliance, 100 percent of the contributions will go toward purchasing the bottled water.
GETTING THE WATER TO THE VICTIMS
Singapore Airlines is donating cargo space to transport 20 tons of water -- enough to provide 34,000 people with a serving of life-saving liquid.
In order to fill that cargo space, the organizations are asking Bay Area residents and BART riders to donate enough money to Project Concern International so it can buy at cost 10 tons of water from Safeway. Safeway will donate the other 10 tons.
Then, Singapore Airlines will fly the water at no charge to tsunami stricken areas, where Project Concern International will distribute the bottles directly to victims. Project Concern International is a global health organization that saves the lives of children and families by preventing disease and providing access to clean water and nutritious food. Project Concern International already has 250 staff members in India and Indonesia.
Wells Fargo Bank is supporting this effort by facilitating the cash handling for the collection of the donations.
“Wells Fargo is partnering with these organizations to help provide relief for the victims of the tsunamis who have lost so much,” said Joanne Schultz, Wells Fargo's Market President for the San Francisco Financial District.
“This catastrophe has also affected many people here in the Bay Area who have family and friends in South Asia. In addition to our joint efforts today, Wells Fargo has pledged up to $600,000 in donations.”
The Oakland-based accounting firm of Grant & Smith, LLP, is contributing its time to monitor the cash handling and certification of the donated funds.
WHY ASK PEOPLE TO BUY WATER?
Most organizations charged with helping the tsunami victims are asking for cash donations because purchasing water and supplies near the disaster area cuts down on shipping costs. However, Singapore Airlines is shipping the water for free. Additionally, many organizations, including Project Concern International, are finding it extremely difficult to locate and purchase clean drinking water near the disaster areas because manufacturers cannot keep up with the overwhelming demand. The Bay Area Tsunami Relief Train will quickly get the water directly to the people who need it most.