Appeal for Help in Tsunami Disaster
Industry to aid survivors
The jewelry and gem industries are rushing to aid those affected by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami that claimed an estimated 150,000 lives along the Indian Ocean. The earthquake erupted Dec. 26 off the island of Sumatra and sent powerful walls of water that killed residents and destroyed infrastructure along thousands of miles of coastline in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Myanmar and elsewhere.
The American Gem Trade Association, American Gem Society, Gemological Institute of America and International Colored Gemstone Associa- tion have organized an industry-wide relief effort called the Jewelry Industry Relief Fund thats bring administered through Save the Children. Type JIRF in the first address line if donating online at www.savethechildren.org, tell the person if donating by phone at (800) 728-3843 or write it on the memo line when sending a check to Meredith McWade, director global corporate partnerships, Save the Children, 54 Wilton Rd., Westport, CT 06880.
The Diamond Dealers Club of New York City also set up a fund. It is imperative that substantial aid be made immediately available to victims of the disaster, says DDC President Jacob Banda. DDC pledged a significant sum from its own funds, and you can contribute to DDC Tsunami Relief Fund, 580 Fifth Ave., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10036.
Gordon Bleck, a gem dealer based in Ratnapura, Sri Lanka, is arranging with government officials to lend assistance with a direct-aid program. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/fax (94) 45-22342.