Special Appeal for Aid to Victims of Tsunami Disaster in Southeast Asia

To: Sister and Brother Vincentians

From: Eugene B. Smith, President
National Council, Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Date: January 4, 2005

Subject: Special Appeal for Aid to Victims of Tsunami Disaster in Southeast Asia

Urgent Aid Needed by Vincentians in Southeast Asia

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, National Council, is coordinating a nationwide disaster relief appeal to respond to the requests of our sister and brother Vincentians in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and the other Asian and African countries. I am asking every Conference in the United States to respond as generously as you can in view of the fact that there is so much suffering and large amounts of resources are needed by every Conference in each of the affected countries.

According to most recent reports, the disaster has killed 140,000; with thousands more reported missing and feared dead. More than 31,000 people have died in Sri Lanka, more than 9,000 in India, and more than 5,000 in Thailand, with numbers expected rise significantly. In the hardest hit region of Indonesia 94,000 have died; 10,000 people were killed in a single town. Five million people have been left homeless and have no access to safe water, sanitation, and health services.

Over the past few years as your National President I have had the opportunity to meet the National Presidents of each of the above countries. I have listened to them tell stories of the work of their Conferences and I have always been amazed with what Vincentians can do with so little to help so many. Conference members throughout the world are no different than our Conference members here in the United States. We all sin, we all pray together and strive to be Jesus to the poor and needy among us. Please join me in helping these brother and sister Vincentians of ours in this time of great need.

Please send a check payable to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, National Council, at
58 Progress Parkway, St. Louis MO 63043-3706.

Please note on your check, “National Disaster Fund”.

One hundred percent of every gift from every Conference will be directed to disaster relief.

Please join me in praying to those who have gone before us as a result of this disaster and for those who continue to suffer. May God give them the courage to face the trials, which they have ahead of them and may our brother and sister Vincentians lighten their load and walk with them during these difficult days.