They have formed an ad hoc relief group known as the Mediocre Crisis Response Team. Through their webpage You can learn all about their efforts, their impressions of the disaster, donate to help them supply clinics and provide food to the community. Their hard work has been almost exclusively supported by donations from the people in Winnipeg. A lot of people have received food, medicine, or even toys that they would never had had the ability to afford without all the people who have supported the MCRT to date.
With all the other major events that have occurred since May 27 this tragedy has slipped off the front page, at least in North America, but for Kevin and Kristy this is a daily struggle. Since may 27 they have worked non-stop - conducting interviews for the BBC, Global TV and more. Their organization is currently featured on the main website for the University of Winnipeg. I would strongly encourage you to read their running accounts of the activities they undertake each day at the "What Have We Been Doing" section of the website. I will be donating to his Paypal account and I would encourage everyone who can to do the same. They fully document all their activities on their website and are managing to make a big difference in the community by filling the gaps that the government, NGOs and aid agencies leave.
Here are some excerpts from personal emails he sent to me, the rest of the story continues on the website:
May 13, 2006
"So if you are following world news at all, you should know about Mount Merapi, the large vocano set to erupt near our city. Its a rel big deal here as there are many people living close to it (or on it!) but i want to assure all of you, because i have received some letters of worry, there is no threat to us at all!"May 27, 2006
"I want to relieve everyones fears. If you have been watching the news i am sure you have heard, there was a large earthquake in Yogyakarta, the city in which i live. I want everyone to know that i am okay as well as kristy and all of my friends here that i have been able to get ahold of. It is an extremely sad situation though. I spent most of the day at the hospital, doing whatever i could without being a doctor or nurse. The scene there was absolutely horrific. the only thing i could compare it to was a war zone. There were people literally being trucked in by the dozens and people were dying there. I was the worst thing i have ever seen. I took a ride around town later and saw the most complete destruction i have ever seen. So many houses collapsed and i did not even make it to the worst affected regions. I was horrible. But i am okay, a little shaken up, as it was my first earthquake and all. The entire city (atleast those who were still sleeping) woke up to at at exactly 6am. It was short but punishing. Maybe 30 seconds but hard to judge. At even a 6.2 on the richter scale, it was quite crazy, i could only imagine what a 7 or higher could be. There are still after shocks (in fact i just felt one as i finished the last sentence) but i think the worst is over. Please take care all of you. I am a little shaken still as well is kristy...I love all of you and hope you may never experience this."
May 27, 2006Sorry for the long entry, thanks for reading. My best wishes to Kevin and Kristy and everyone in Jojakarta, stay safe!
"read this article - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hiMay 27, 2006
"http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hiMay 29, 2006
/asia-pacific/5023052.stm - check this out if youre curious, apperarently my story was of interest. I've also done some interview with the bbc."
"I as well as my fellow future PBI volunteers are beginning to coordinate an aid effort of our own. I already went out today with teachers from Kristy's english school to drop off aid, and everytime i see the situation it seems to get worse. We are trying to gather donations which will go directly into supplies which we will bring to victims in the worst affected regions. We are also in contact with a Sri Lankan from the American Refugee Society who will be helping our efforts. I would greatly appreciate any donation you can give. Even $5 canadian can buy enough food to last a family for a day or two. There aer hundreds of thousands of homeless and the towns have very little drinking water and food. Tarpolins, food, water and general suport are direly needed. Please give what you can. 100% of this money will reach the people. As a group we are coordinating an effort to transport the supplies, and any costs incurred (ie renting a car) will be paid for by us.... Myself, as well as thousands of people will greatly appreciate this support. I can attest to the extreme gratitude shown by the victims. Keep in mind that this is one of the poorer areas in an extremely poor area, so they already have very limited means, without suffering this disaster. Now they need everything we can give. Thank you all very much, i appreciate anything you can do to help. There is need and you can aid the effort very easlily."May 30, 2006
"Things are good here but a little rough. For alot of people, especially in the city, life has gotten back to normal pretty quick. But in the affected region this will take years. I appreciate you trying to gather dontations. In all of my travels and life experience i have never witnessed a more worthy cause. I've done a rough calculation and it will cost around $1.50 to feed a family of five for a day, so a little goes a really long way."May 31, 2006
"Please check out my modified wesite. I have changed it to dedicate it to the Indonesian Earthquake. There are pictures on now and hopefully video soon. Please check back often as i will be keeping everyone abreast of the situation and the effort of myself and my friends. Please pass this link on to everyone you know as well. Thank you. http://www.geocities.comJune 6, 2006
"I have no set up a paypal account in order so that we may receive overseas donations or credit card donations. You can find the link on the website or go to http://www.paypal.com. Send any donations to my name and this email address. I also recently did an interview with the CBC and it is posted on the CBC Manitoba website. http://www.cbc.ca/manitobaJune 12, 2006
/story/mb-freedman-20060605 .html Please pass on the website address and visit back as i am updating it everyday. Take care all and I miss all of you!"
"Hi again all, just a note to let you know whats been doing on this end of the world. Our aid work is still out in full force but even with all the big ngos here and the pathetic government doing a little, theres still tons needed to be done. We are getting dangerously close to running out of money so if you have the meansor have yet to forward off the website, please do, the more awareness the better. Alsom there lots of new stuff on there now, some new video as well as links to a website where i can store much larger video. The sites updated everyday so visit often. I would also like to say thanks to all of thoe who have already supported our cause, sent well wishes and love and even called to check up on me. I appreciate all of this very much, it means alot to me. Keep updated on our work here, and check out the u of w website in a couple of days (http://www.uwinnipeg.ca) as there will be a short write up about us. Take care, miss and love you all!"