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Indianapolis walk to support Pakistan flood relief (Sep 25 2010)

Haunting images of human misery and fear filled her computer screen. Sitting in Indianapolis, so far from the flooding in Pakistan, hopelessness rose within her. For days, she couldn’t remove her eyes from the photos: despondent children, desolate women, demoralized men—the look of broken humanity.

Her American friends reached out to her. They knew Maha, having immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan, was aware of the disaster. What her friends didn’t realize was they were prompting a response.

Several people from the local Pakistani community had shipped 700 survival kits to Pakistan. Maha and her husband wondered if the people in the photos would receive the supplies or if the hands of corruption would steal them? Who could they trust?

Humanity First emerged as the clear choice. This couple had done their homework, talking to friends who had served as surgeons with Humanity First and interviewing a family member who had worked for the group. They learned that over 200 volunteers were actively dispensing medical help, clothing, food and shelter in Pakistan.

The evidence was strong: If they gave money to Humanity First, the money would go to flood victims.

Learning that Humanity First has a history of hosting charity walks, Maha phoned an American friend and asked, “I want to walk to raise money for Pakistan on September 25th. Will you help me?”

From there, a 15-member team formed—people from Pakistan, the U.S. and Canada, Muslim, Christian and non-religious. The group quickly developed two purposes. First, raise at least $10,000 for flood relief in Pakistan. Second, hold a charity walk with over 150 people, crossing cultural and religious barriers, all within three weeks time.

What started as a sense of hopelessness, alone in front of disquieting images on a computer screen, has turned into a community cause. Pakistan will directly benefit from the funds and increased awareness. Indianapolis will also benefit. Individuals gathered for the charity walk will certainly notice those standing nearby and those across the table, as they sit down for the donated meal after the walk. Perhaps we will see how our humanity makes us very much the same.

You can join the Indianapolis team is spirit virtually by sponsoring any of the walkers and team there. Check out the following URL for the all the teams participating in the walk.


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Humanity First is registered in 43 countries across 6 continents, and has been working on human development projects and responding to disasters since 1994. These have included the earthquakes in Turkey, Pakistan, Japan and Iran, floods in Africa and Latin America, hurricanes (Katrina and Rita) , tornado's (Kansas) and wild fires (California) in the USA, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and conflicts in Eastern Europe.

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Since its inception and IRS registration in 2004, Humanity First has been focused on spending most of the raised funds on direct program related expenses. As a result, more than 90% of its funds are in that expense category. This is achieved through dedicated volunteers in its management, and program operation teams.

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