The U.N. proposes, Amazon disposes

Amazon_honorStung by charges that the U.S. is being “stingy” with the amount of foreign aid to alleviate the suffering of the thousands of victims of the recent tsunami in the Indian Ocean, bellicose bloggers such as Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds have directed readers to a donations page at Amazon and advised them to do their worst.

The Internet mega-retailer set the page up to funnel money to the Red Cross. Amazon even has a good pitch for people looking for an end-of-the-year write-off:

If your donation is $250 or more, will provide your name, billing address and donation amount to the American Red Cross and the American Red Cross will provide you with a receipt for your donation.

The results so far have been heartening: As of 5:37 p.m. West Coast Time, 9,369 donors had coughed up $437,953.21. If you have a few minutes to kill, follow the link and periodically hit “refresh.” If you have a few bucks that you wouldn’t mind parting with, even better.

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  • Patty

    Are you being sarcastic here? Joking? I’m just curious. Why donate through a for-profit group when one can go directly to the charities themselves? Just curious!

  • Jeremy Lott

    Amazon has waved its usual processing fee and so 100 percent of what people pay goes to the Red Cross. Why this way? Because it’s easy and fast.

  • Patty

    I donated via World Vision. It took less than one minute. It was quick, easy … and direct! The other charity sites I’ve found are equally quick and easy. Methinks it is a better way to go.

  • bob smietana

    So far, it’s $35 million for relief, and $40 million for the Bush inaugural next month.

  • Victor Morton

    And it would have been how much for a Kerry inauguration?

  • Victor Morton

    Actually, let me answer my own question — a Kerry inauguration would have cost more, simply because of the extras inherent in transitioning between different presidents and different parties. Though I doubt the Bush team would have added to the costs by trashing the White House as the Clintonoids did.

    So, consider Dubya’s victory a form of frugality.

  • Patty

    While I find the cost of an inauguration troubling, I don’t think that bringing that up is helpful, nor do I think comparing what Kerry’s inauguration might have cost compared to Bush’s is at all beneficial. Mostly I think that each of us, as individuals, whether from the USofA or elsewhere, should give what we are able, and maybe even more than that. Our hearts … well … maybe they should be breaking a bit. Arguing over politics seems … oh, I don’t know … maybe sort of petty when over 10,000 have probably died.

    In no way do I mean to be trashing any of you. Please know that. We are all on edge. I am sure no one here is really meaning to fight while so many nations are hurting so tremendously. We are all dealing with the horrendous tragedy in our different ways. I just want to be as productive, rather than destructive, as possible.

  • David

    The UN Executive didn’t specifically refer to the US as stingy, he was referring to all Western, rich countries. He made a good point. Conservative publications like the “cough” Washington Times are just using this as another way to go after the UN.

  • Victor Morton


    I can assure you that had Mr. Smietana not made the petty comments he did, my rebuttals not only would not have been posted, but the thoughts in them probably would never have occurred to me.

  • Mark D.

    Uh, Jeremy, you missed a decimal place – to date (12/30, 11 am EST) $4,372,712.12 has been donated. That’s a big number by any standard.

  • Jeremy Lott


    No I didn’t. I simply spoke too soon.


  • JoJo

    Digby researched some well known Christian organizations that speak loudly about morals and raise lots of money for their causes. By and large they seem to be ignoring this catastrophe.