Entries in Donations (5)


'A Cry for Help': Hunger and Drought Crisis in West Africa

Two-year-old Ouobra Kompalemba, who suffers from severe malnutrition and bronchitis, receives milk through a catheter at a hospital in Diapaga, eastern Burkina Faso. RAPHAEL DE BENGY/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- According to the United Nations, the Sahel region of West Africa, which stretches across eight countries including Chad, Mauritania and Gambia, is being affected by a hunger crisis.

The U.N. estimates that 15 million people in the region are suffering from food shortages caused by drought and conflict, and UNICEF says that nearly 1.5 million children are near starvation.

The following organizations are working to stop the famine by supporting livestock, growing crops and giving people cash so they can afford the food on sale in their markets.

Below is more information on those organizations and how you can help:

Save the Children: Save the Children plans to reach 185,000 of the most vulnerable families -- 1.3 million people -- to help prevent them from falling into hunger.

The group's Lane Hartill said, however, that the organization also wanted to help these families to build up their resistance in the long term so they are better prepared for the next drought.

Save the Children also supports families through cash-transfer programs so they have money to buy what they consider appropriate. Cattle and goats -- essentially "savings accounts" in villages -- have been hard hit by the drought, Hartill said, and with animals dying, there is no fodder.

According to the organization, $39 could help support 10 mothers whose children are in a stabilization clinic and $2.35 could pay for sachets of oral rehydration salts to help treat 100 children suffering from diarrhea.

To donate to Save the Children, click here.

Oxfam: Oxfam is starting to distribute unconditional cash to the most vulnerable so they can access food on the markets -- 30 percent to 40 percent higher than in the last five-year average -- and cope until the next harvest.

The organization says that animal feed is "super important" to protect the livelihoods of pastoralists. If they lose their animals on the onset of the rainy season -- which occurred in 2010 when 24 percent of the livestock was lost -- they will be locked in the cycle of hunger.

"One way to put this: Save an animal, save an entire community and help lift them out of poverty," said Gaelle Bausson, an Oxfam spokesperson.

Oxfam said that seeds are also among "the most acute and immediate" need.

Bausson told ABC News that $40 will vaccinate 15 goats so vulnerable families can have food and an income; $80 will give three people the money to buy food and other essentials for the next three months; and $140 will provide clean, safe drinking water for three families by building or repairing water sources.

To donate to Oxfam, click here.

UNICEF: UNICEF is focused on the nutritional needs of children. According to the organization, children who are acutely malnourished cannot consume regular food and require ready-to-use therapeutic food for their bodies to recover.

UNICEF said the donations made for the Sahel crisis would support life-saving relief efforts for children, including: therapeutic food and milk, medicine, immunizations and supplies to provide access to clean water.

Susannah Masur, a UNICEF spokeswoman, said that $100 could save a child from severe acute malnutrition; $50 could buy 1,200 high-energy biscuits to give suffering children protein, vitamins and sugar; and less than $1 could immunize two children against the measles.

To donate to UNICEF, click here.

World Food Programme: According to the World Food Programme, the main help it needs is money. WFP is funded entirely by voluntary donations from governments, companies and private individuals.

The organization is geared to provide for 9.6 million people across the eight countries of West Africa hit by the Sahel drought. The WFP expects the total cost of providing and delivering that food to be $789 million.

Despite donations from countries like the U.S., the WFP needs $361 million to feed everyone who needs help.

Jane Howard, spokeswoman for WFP, said that the organization spent most of its money on buying food to stop people from going hungry or dying from malnutrition. Howard said a No. 1 product needed in this fight against hunger was a "sachet of Plumpy'sup." It costs about 30 cents for a day's ration.

She said that two months of treatment could transform the life of a malnourished child.

WFP also has started to provide more cash or vouchers so that people can have flexibility when buying their own food.

To donate to World Food Programme, click here.

You can also text AID to 27722 to donate $10.

Charges will appear on your wireless bill or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to 27722 to STOP. Text HELP to 27722 for HELP.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontieres: In addition to preventing and treating malnutrition throughout West Africa and the Sahel region, Doctors Without Borders is responding to multiple emergencies related to and exacerbating the hunger crisis, including assisting refugees from Mali and vaccinating against meningitis in Chad.

The organization said that $35 could purchase either enough vaccine to innoculate 85 children against measles during a deadly outbreak or a scale used to weigh children too young or weak to stand.

To donate to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontieres, click here.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mystery Philanthropist Leaves Envelopes of Cash in German Town

Photodisc/Thinkstock(BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany) -- A secret philanthropist has been hiding envelopes stuffed with thousands of euros around the tiny German town of Braunschweig.

So far, the donor has left 19 envelopes totaling 190,000 euros -- or $250,256 -- in the village, about 145 miles west of Berlin, since November, according to some reports.  One was found under a doormat and another was slipped behind hymn books in a church.

What is known about the anonymous donor is that the money comes in blank white envelopes, sometimes with directions on how to spend the donation.  The largest gift was $13,218 -- 10,000 Euros -- and the first recipient was a man who had thousands of euros stolen in a burglary.

The most recent beneficiary was Eva Reulette, a hospice worker who found 10,000 eruos under her doormat.

“We couldn’t believe it,” she told DPA news service.  “We had just been talking about how great these donations are.”

Michael Knobel, a manager of a hospice, which specializes in comforting the terminally ill, also got an envelope.

He told the BBC, “This person gives money for good causes, like hospice, kindergarten or churches.”

Another donation went to the family of Tom Neumann, 14, who had become disabled after a swimming accident.  The boy’s mother, Claudia Neumann, was astounded by the generosity.

“I was driving when I heard the news.  I had to park on the side of the road.  I was speechless.  For someone to act so selflessly…was astonishing,” she said.

There is much speculation as to whether the generous gifts are an old person nearing the end of his/her life, or even a few people working together to reward those who are less fortunate without seeking anything in return.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


World Food Programme Launches Website to End World Hunger

Jupiterimages/Pixland (NEW YORK) -- When you were a kid, did you ever sit down for a family meal that ended with a half-full plate and your mom saying, "Finish your broccoli, there's starving kids in Africa?" Maybe you rebelliously answered, "Why don't you send them my broccoli then?"

Believe it or not, now you can.

With the new website, launched by the United Nations World Food Programme, you can donate the price of your dinner to school programs around the world.

In 1961, the World Food Programme began providing food to communities during and after emergencies. Fifty years later, they aim to reach more than 90 million people with food assistance in more than 70 countries -- this year alone.

WeFeedBack allows people to estimate the cost of their nightly dinner -- whether it's broccoli, sushi, or spaghetti and meatballs -- and donate the equivalent to school programs around the world for children in need. Putting a 50-cent serving of "broccoli" into the website's calculator, WeFeedBack lets you know that two children can eat for that price. That's bang for your buck.

School meals are a game changer in the fight against hunger. By nourishing the bodies and minds of children in poor countries during school hours, we are making an investment in the next generation: the meals encourage parents to send kids to school and help them concentrate on their lessons while they work.

The platform will soon be available as an app on iPhone, Facebook, Windows phone 7 and the Bing Map app.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Super Bowl Losing Team Merchandise Headed to Those in Need

Photo Courtesy - Al Bello/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- As the Green Bay Packers celebrated their victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV Sunday night, they were handed championship t-shirts and hats commemorating their win.  But what happened to the other pile of t-shirts and hats -- the ones made in advance of the game should the Steelers have won?

As it is has done for over 15 years, the NFL donated the merchandise to the relief organization World Vision, which will distribute the apparel to those in need in impoverished communities around the world.  This year, Super Bowl Champion Steelers shirts will be shipped to Zambia, Romania, Armenia and Nicaragua.

"The NFL is pleased to once again work with World Vision to ensure that usable Super Bowl apparel does not get thrown out, especially when there are so many around the globe who have never had a brand-new item of clothing in their lives," said David Krichavsky, NFL director of community affairs.

The NFL has also donated losing team merchandise from the AFC and NFC Championship games to the organization.

In years past, World Vision has distributed the merchandise to countries like Indonesia and El Salvador, and last year, it handed out the gear to those in Haiti affected by a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake that rocked the country.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Japanese 'Superhero' Inspires Wave of Gift-Giving

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TOKYO) -- A mysterious donor claiming to be a popular Japanese cartoon hero has set off a national wave of gift-giving to underprivileged children in Japan.

Dozens of orphanages and child welfare centers across the country have reported receiving school bags in the past few weeks, even cash from somebody claiming to be Naoto Date, the main character of 1960s comic Tiger Mask.

Date is an orphan who becomes a professional wrestler known as Tiger Mask.  He donates money to his orphanage after he becomes successful.

The real-life spate of gift-giving began Christmas Day when 10 boxes full of school bags were left behind at a child counseling center in the Gunma Prefecture, an hour outside Tokyo.  Employees found the boxes at the entrance, with a note signed by "Naoto Date."  The leather bags traditionally worn by elementary school students in Japan sell for more than $300 each.

More than 90 similar acts of generosity have been reported since then.  A large retail chain in the northern Iwate Prefecture said it received about $1,200 in an envelope with a letter reading, "There are Tiger Masks all over Japan.  Please use this for our most promising children."

The anonymous superheroes have even gone to the police to drop off the expensive school bags.  Twenty-one different facilities reported receiving boxes Tuesday alone.

The gifts haven't been limited to school supplies.  A welfare facility in the Yamagata prefecture reported receiving five bags of rice, 44 bushels of greens onions and 11 Chinese cabbages.  The shipment came with roughly $120 in cash and a letter signed "Naoto Date of the countryside."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio