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Dealers quick to answer relief call for tsunami victims

November 18, 2010
Relief funding in the aftermath of the major earthquake and tsunamis in Southeast Asia has passed $4 billion worldwide, including millions from America's private sector. With 150,000 killed, 5 million homeless and millions more vulnerable to disease in the wake of the disaster, the area is desperate for aid. Buzz Rodland, chairman of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, encouraged dealers to make contributions to charities and relief agencies assisting in the recovery and rebuilding process. "Dealers have a history of generous support for charitable and other worthy causes," Rodland said. "In the face of this enormous disaster, I encourage all AIADA dealer members to consider supporting the relief efforts." Rodland and other AIADA leaders have made significant donations based on their 2004 sales, with some committing to donate at least $1 dollar for every car they sold in 2004. Monetary donations are the most effective form of assistance because they allow humanitarian organizations to purchase (often within the affected region itself) the exact type and quantity of items needed by those affected by a crisis. In rare instances, commodity contributions are preferred. The U.S. Agency for International Development identifies more than 80 humanitarian agencies assisting relief efforts that accept contributions by phone or mail, or on Web sites. See the list at Agencies suggested by the AIADA include the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Catholic Relief Services, Adventist Development and Relief Agency International, WorldVision and U.S. Fund for UNICEF.