Monday, October 31, 2005

Anonymous gets his wish! Pakistan Earthquake Appeal: Please, Dammit, Please

Awhile back anonymous wanted us to stop talking about baseball or something and start talking about real "hard" issues. Well here it is. and its going to be over the top, unfair, and a little bit angry. Anger is not directed at MWM.

Please, Please, Please, Please Listen.

Really listen and listen fully. Read these words.

I hope and think you are all aware that there was a massive earthquake in Northern Pakistan a few weeks ago. I don't know what kind of news about is still being covered back there in the ol US, cause I hear there were some storms and things and because those are hitting people that look and talk like us and are close enough we can't ingnore them, people are responding. I applaud this and am glad.

But here's the thing. A few weeks ago in a place you don't really know much about (doesn't bin laden live there?) in remote mountains, near a place you've never heard of called muzzafarabad there was a 7.6 earthquake. Relief efforts were slow and difficult. It's a nightmare here. A lot of people have been helped, but a lot of people have died (55,000 and counting) and more have been seriously injured (70,000). This is a huge amount but it is even more considering it is from small towns and villages. Whole districts and cities have been completely destroyed. Nobody could get anywhere for at least two days in which time, serious injury turned to death and moderate injury turned into amputation. Children don't have parents, parents don't have children, 3 million people don't have homes (3 MILLION!) and estimates are that 30% of the affected areas haven't even been reached yet! (this could be around 200,000 more people. Dead? alive? injured? homeless? nobody knows and probably all of the above) Roads are still closed and continue to be shut off with frequent rockslides.

So dang, that sucked didn't it? It sure is sad when these things happen but its over now huh?


NO it is not over!

Its bad and its getting worse.

Remember the 3 million homeless people? Most of those people live in remote mountains. you know what happens in remote mountains in november and december? Yeah winter happens and winter happens hard. and you know what happens to 3 million people when they don't have homes, food, clothing, blankets during heavy mountain winters? Yeah they all die. YEAH, THEY ALL DIE.



Oh sorry, am I going over the top? should I take it down a little bit? I'll just go ask the 3 MILLION PEOPLE who don't know what the hell's going on with their lives except that their brother, sister, mother, father, daughter, son, uncle, cousin, aunt, nephew, dog, cat, chicken and probably all of the above just died, just got their bodies crushed beneath concrete walls, The earth stood still, the earth shook, the earth stood still, and everything is gone. Family, food, homes. And now something far worse will happen if they don't get food or shelter for the winter.

Why am I so upset? because nobody cares. Nobody gives a damn. Its two weeks after the earthquake and some major rich nations haven't even given a dime (or a euro). Rich dumb nations like our friend Uncle sam and Uncle Japan have given nonsense in terms of the money we normally use for things. THERE IS A 3-5 WEEK WINDOW OF TIME TO DELIVER WINTER SHELTER OR MOST OF THE QUAKE AFFECTED AREAS WILL BE COMPLETELY CUT OFF FROM AID AND EVERYONE WILL DIE.

So, yeah i know, these things happen all the time around the world I guess. Usually we see them and get sad or see them and eat dinner and think well shoot, there ain't nothing i can do to help it. But now there is. I'm not asking you to drop everything and fly out here (you can if you want!). But I am here, your pal, paco and my organization "The Frontiers" is working with some local partners (This guy named Liver!) to provide tents for a few villages (one of them is named piza and yes it is pronounced almost like pizza) that haven't had any aid yet. Sure we can't give the over 200,000 needed but we are trying to give a few hundred. These villages are in a place called alai a very remote area that had over 90 percent of everything destroyed.

I know most of you don't have a lot of money, but everything helps, ten people paying 10 bucks is a tent and a whole family's lives saved. Most problems in the world are not solved by just throwing money at them, but this one is, at least in the short term. Also I know that most of you are connected with churches and maybe are even in positions to say things about this. Please I need your help. You want to do something that matters? you want to save lives directly. Here it is. I'm your friend don't make me sit here and watch 2,000,000 people die. This is that big of an emregency. I am not exagerting!

My parents are collecting money at thier church if you are in the US then you can send a check to them. Make it out to : College Park Church
and mail it too my parents:

Paul Michelson
1632 North Jefferson
Huntington, IN 46750

you can call them at 1-260-356-5518. they are nice, they answer questions you can also email me at or If you are out of the country there is a korean bank account you can transfer money to.

Please help. please do something about this is a disaster and an emergency on a massive scale and for once you can actually do something!

But hey its cool! Its okay, no problem if you don't help them, they don't look like you or talk like you. They aren't your religion so maybe your God hates them. I will forgive you (I won't even know) and God forgave you 2000 years ago. so don't worry about it, They live far far away in remote mountains so maybe after a while, after they die, you won't even have to think about them. You can think about I don't know, getting some new clothes or whatever it is Christians are supposed to be doing in light of the resurrection of our lord.

I will be back with more info later


At 11/01/2005 12:26 AM, Anonymous joey said...

thanks paco.....

here is an article with other suggestions

At 11/01/2005 4:23 AM, Blogger Jeff BBz said...

Thanks Joey. Yeah there are simulatanously a lot of options and none at all. I have been talking with various organizations, the UN and the governement and everyone disagrees about the best solution, except to say that there isn't one. Probably tents are the easiest option, despite the impossiblity of getting them in Pakistan. Tents are expensive but, if they are properly made will last longer and be warmer. Also many people are afraid to go in any sort of buildings nowadays. Anyway we are looking into many options and when I say tents I mean shelter in general.

At 11/01/2005 8:20 AM, Blogger Victoria said...

Thanks for letting us know what we can do. I have very admittedly been at a loss as to the best course of action. Please, please, please let us know if there is anything else.

At 11/01/2005 3:59 PM, Anonymous Molly said...

Paco, thanks for the (heart-wrenching) details. You're right--what is in reality just a little bit of money to us could make a difference of epic proportions. It's the least we can do as humans, let alone self-proclaimed Christians.

At 11/01/2005 5:52 PM, Blogger Jake Sikora said...

here's an article about the tents from bbc....

At 11/01/2005 10:21 PM, Anonymous Erinn said...

i've been trying to get a fundraiser together for pakistan for weeks and can't seem to get anybody to help me. anybody want to help? shoot me an email at

At 11/03/2005 7:38 AM, Blogger Jeff BBz said...

Sorry I realized I forgot to give you any links to check out. I wish i had more time to update you guys personally about the situation but I don't.

Numbers change enormously among all the media, the NGOs (Non-government organization, like mine!), the UN, and the Pakistan Local and Federal Government. So you will get different numbers from almost everyone. There are many reasons for this the biggest is that both things change daily and that most everything is an estimate. Kind of nobody really knows whats going on. but anyway here are some useful links. Most of these are updated daily. Some of them won't be much info for you as they are pretty specific and actually aimed at the workers in the region. but you can check it out.

the most useful is
go there an click on the big red earthquake button. This is the UNERC's website (United Nations emergency response center. They are coordinating most of the organizational relief. It has lots of goodies, it also has a few links, some of them useful, some of them nonsense.
this is OCHA's website (office for the coordination of Humanitarian affairs)
they have daily updates of reports and press releases from many organizations, the UN and the goverment of pakistan. its good and nice.
has good maps and a good name. most of the news maps(bbc etc) i have been seeing are a little wrong, placing the epicenter of the quake in NWFP (northwest frontier province when it is really in Azad Kashmir (pakistan's kashmir) north of muzzafarabad (the capital)

also useful is the pak governements federal relief commision website.

there are more sites and you can probably find many by searching, but hope this helps with some information.

also as an update. things are getting better in pakistan but are still very bleak and a despartate emergency please hurry to help if you can and also pray pray pray.

lastly we have probably found our tent supplier. we will be working with another orgnization called Shelter Now and they are going to ship our tents in and buy them for us and then we pay them back. we are going with either normal winterized tents that look kind of like that one on the bbc link from jake, or the oxfam designed varient, which is also a tent. or both. the first costs 125 dollars per tent and the second costs 135. we are shooting for at least 600-700 but if we get enough money they can help us with about 2000 tents. anyway thanks for caring and helping.

At 11/03/2005 8:06 AM, Blogger Jeff BBz said...

two more things. first I would trust that Government site the least as it tends to be a little overproud of thier role and also sometimes uses other peoples info. but it still has some good stuff.

also here is a donor appeal letter I wrote a few days ago, a few of the numbers have changed slightly but not really and the goals is the same. IF you want to pass it around or post it at your church or somewhere do it to it. if you want a sweet copy on official letter head email me:

Friends and Supporters,

I am writing this letter from Pakistan which is currently in the midst of an enormous crisis. As most of you know, on Oct. 8, Northern Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) administrated region were struck by a 7.6 earthquake. Maybe you have heard the numbers. Over 55,000 dead and counting, over 70,000 seriously injured and counting. 3 million people homeless, 800,000 without any shelter whatsoever. 10,000-12,000 schools destroyed. In some districts such as Muzzafarabad (the capital of AJK) and Balakot over 90 percent of everything has been destroyed. Whole villages have been wiped from the map. The destruction and loss of life has been tremendous and terrible. But the emergency is far from over.
The current situation is on the verge of another disaster of even greater scale. The areas affected are largely small villages and towns spread out across a huge and mountainous area. Most of the roads connecting these villages to support have been destroyed by the earthquake and continue to be re-blocked by rockslides and aftershocks. Estimates are that about 30% of the affected area has not even been reached yet. That’s an estimated 200,000 people nobody knows anything about.
What is known is that in 3-5 weeks heavy winter snows will completely seal off the majority of the affected area. 55,000 people died in the earthquake, but many times more will die if they do not receive food or shelter before winter begins. While there are many needs, the largest gap and biggest emergency is in shelter. Currently an estimated 210,000 (at minimum) winterized tents and shelters are needed and are needed fast. These would cover about 2 Million people. 2 Million people that will all die if they do not receive adequate shelter in the next several weeks. Let me repeat that: 2 Million people that will all die if they do not receive adequate shelter in the next several weeks.
The situation is desperate. No one was ready for this, no one knew the scale. And the international community failed to respond with compassion. In the wake of other disasters around the world somehow we forgot to care. Donations were made, many too late and too small. Maybe the people affected are remote, from places we have never heard of, maybe they are a different race and speak a different language. But their children still cry because they don’t know where their mother is, Parents still cry over children crushed to death beneath concrete slabs. And they will all freeze to death by December.
There is still time to save thousands of lives. Donations are needed to purchase tents and shelter for these people. We (The Frontiers) are collecting donations in hopes that we can support at least two villages completely with adequate shelter to last till they can rebuild in the spring. I will not soften my words. If people do not donate, thousands of people will die. The people are here, the organizations are here. The money is not, the tents are not. If we can get enough money for 600-700 tents, 600-700 families (or what remains of their families) will not die, will have a chance to restart their lives next spring.
Time is limited. This is an emergency. Please help the people of northern Pakistan.

Thank you
Paul-Philip (Paco) Michelson
Pakistan Earthquake Shelter Coordinator
The Frontiers

Questions? Email me: or

or Call:

+92-301-533-7749 (Pakistan Cell)
+93-79-047-351 (Afghanistan Cell)


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