Money still continues to pourin for tsunami aid. One man in the hot and wet Northern Territory pushed a wheelbarrow hundreds of kilometres and collected $28,000. Members of the Lion and Rotary clubs stood with buckets at a suburban train station in Sydney one morning and raised $13,000. They commented that the average donation given by commuters was $50.

I was thinking over this generous giving. Aussies are like that. Perhaps it's because we live in a harsh land subject to natural disaster. Flood,fire and drought are no strangers to us and there is always a good response to appeals. As if to prove my point, news came of terrible fires in South Australia, helped by temperatures of 40 + ° Celsius and strong, hot, dry winds. At least eight people,including several children , died in the fires yesterday.



Darren asks for help in a blogathon to raise aid for the tsunami victims. Suggestions as to different ways you might be able to help can be found here. (Note: this second URL is not to Darren's site, but one offering ideas which could be used to help his blogathon)

Darren has just commented that the second site is where he will actually be conducting the blogathon. Sorry about that.


cricket tragic
I often enjoy watching cricket, I was educated by a cricket mad grandmother who used to stay up all hours of the night to hear the shortwave broadcasts from England.

However, I have nothing on the nation's #1 cricket tragic, the Prime Minister John Howard. I turned the TV on late this afternoon to see the tsunami appeal game which I had forgotten about. Asia v Rest of World. Who was in the commentary box? John Howard. I suggest that the usual commentators need not fear for their jobs. Stick to your day job,Mr Howard, as much as I would prefer someone else.

There were over 80,000 spectators at the MCG. Tickets sold out in two days and the whole match was organised in not many more days. Sponsors for 4s and 6s and other special combinations were found. I saw $150,000 raised in one over with three sixes hit.

Australians have always responded well to disaster appeals. They have surpassed themselves this time. As I remarked before, our population is really quite small. The commercial channels banded together to put on a concert the other night. Again people responded generously and over $20 million was raised. This takes the total raised by the Australian people to about $200 million.

The government's response has, for once, been generous too. A billion dollars to Indonesia for rebuilding infrastructure and schools. Navy ships, military personnel, field hospitals and more, plus the initial responses are on top of this.

I have not so pleasant thoughts about the appeal finally raised by the headquarters of the denomination I attend. I was notified of it last Friday. Almost a fortnight after the actual event. Better late than never is one thought I had. However, I noticed that when the collection was made at church, few put anything in. Notice had been given and I hope that like us, most had already contributed through other agencies like World Vision, Care Australia, Oxfam and the Red Cross. Some of the congregation is still on holidays, so perhaps more will be given next week.

This collection is intended solely for the denomination's churches in Sri Lanka and India. I think this is fine if it will free up the money intended for thsoe people so others may receive. I'm not sure this is the case. I hope so because I do not particularly like the idea that aid is going to someone purely because they belong to a particular group. I hope I'm wrong in my assessment. Not enough information has been coming out about the fund, even though it was a late starter.
Tuesday The ABC reports that $14.6 million was raised by this charity match. That's a lot of money after all the other donations.