boxing day tsunami

10 years later — FFLG’s Most Memorable Relief Effort

I remember the call I got from Indradyumna Swami in Sri Lanka. I was sitting in my office at the World Bank. I had just started a new job and was comfortable and peaceful. “Paul you have to come here. It is really bad. We need to respond to this. It is the biggest natural disaster in modern history.”  I had seen the news, but like most I had not allowed the magnitude of the disaster to really sink in. Television has that affect in that it allows us to watch calamity unfold without being too emotionally involved. I cared for the people, but was not sure how our organization could respond effectively. There was nothing from the past to measure this by. This disaster was unprecedented  in every way. The devastation was spread over thousands of miles! I mean, where do we begin?  The swami was insistent. “We have to do something.” I agreed and wondered what I could do. After all I, was a volunteer for Food for Life too, and I had just started a new job that paid well and I was now supporting my new family. Then other calls started coming in. “Paul, what is Food for Life Global doing for the Tsunami survivors?” “How can we help?” There was no turning back now. I had to do something and it had to be fast. I closed the door on my office and turned it into FFL emergency relief central. I set up a donation page and posted a report that FFLG was planning a response. I appealed for volunteers. I had set the ball in motion. Where it would lead I had no idea. But we were in. I was in. We were going to help. Over the next week, literally tens of thousands of dollars began […]