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The Lafayette community is helping to provide relief for those affected by the devastating Asian tsunami.

The Landis Community Outreach Center’s staff met recently to discuss its involvement in the coordination of relief and awareness efforts. Director Char Gray has received emails and phone calls from faculty, students, and alumni who have ideas about specific projects, and is assembling a group of students, faculty, and staff to create a plan when the semester starts. Those interested in participating should contact her at graychar or x5653.

Patti Price ’75 is deputy director for the Northeast region of CARE, one of the world’s largest private international humanitarian organizations.

“CARE has been operating in the most affected countries — India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka — for decades,” she says. “We are in the unique position to provide rapid response and long-term relief on a personal level.”

Since the risk of water-borne diseases threatens to kill more people than the actual disaster, CARE has responded by providing clean water, water purification tablets, and soap, along with other necessities including shelter materials, basic medical supplies, food, and cooking supplies.

Given the scale of damage and loss of life, Price hopes many will consider donating to assist the affected families and communities.

“Millions of people in several countries have lost everything they owned and are crowded into any remaining buildings,” she says. “The number of lives lost is skyrocketing by the day and the damage is so extensive that no one knows just how bad it is yet.”

Pujitha Weerakoon ’04 (Kandy, Sri Lanka) is a graduate student at Yale University’s Biomedical Engineering program. The coastal town of Moratuwa, where some of his family comes from, was hit by the tsunami.

“I just contacted my parents and my family and, thank God, they are largely unaffected,” he says, adding that his family is actively involved in the Y’s Men’s Club, a subsidiary of the YMCA. “They have already started relief work and have identified that one of the most pressing issues that needs to be addressed immediately is to provide housing for the thousands of displaced people.”

Weerakoon says that the size of an average house of some of the poorer people is about 20 feet by 20 feet and the cost of materials is $500-$600. The Y’s Men’s Club is seeking donations so it can build 100-200 of these small-scale houses.

Here are some options for those interested in helping relief efforts:

Monetary Donations
* CARE. Visit to read more and give online, or call (800) 521-CARE.

* Sri Lanka Disaster Relief Fund. Contributions can be made by cash, check, or wire transfer. Checks and wire transfers should be made out to “Sri Lanka Disaster Relief Fund.” Deposits can be made at any Wachovia Bank.

* For more information on the Y’s Men’s Club, contact Weerakoon at

*AmeriCares. Visit Contact the organization at 88 Hamilton Ave., Stamford, CT 06902 or (800) 486-4375.

Donate Goods/Offer Services
*Center for International Disaster Information. Visit the CIDI website at and complete the online form. Register under “offers of goods or services” or call (703) 276-1914.

*AuctionDrop. Drop off used cameras, computers, and consumer electronics to any The UPS Store, which will sell them on eBay and donate net proceeds to CARE’s Earthquake and Tsunami Relief and Rehabilitation Fund. For details, visit

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