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Last Updated: Friday, 31 December, 2004, 05:58 GMT
Indian Ocean disaster: How to donate
Breakfast's Natasha Kaplinsky taking donations calls at London's BT Tower to boost vital funds for The Disasters Emergency Committee appeal
Natasha helped launch the DEC's earthquake appeal

On this page, we've rounded up some of the answers to your most freqently asked questions over the last few days: how to donate; how to contact missing friends and relatives - and travel advice.

You'll find our day by day coverage of the tsunami, by going to the Breakfast homepage.

How to help

Most aid organisations say they prefer donations of cash, rather than clothes or blankets. The best plan may be to take old clothes to your local charity shop, so they can be sold to raise money.


There have been reports of a number of fake charity websites being set up which claim to be collecting money for the disaster fund.

There are a couple of things you can do to make sure your money only goes to the aid effort and not to fraudsters.

  • Firstly, the Disasters Emergency Committee is the main UK body handling collection of funds no behalf of all the main charities. Link direct to their website below.

  • To guarantee you go straight to its website, type the organisations web address or URL directly into your browser:

  • Secondly, be very careful about clicking to the DEC or other charity from a link on a web page in case you are directed to a scam site.

  • Finally, the Charity Commission has a list of all UK registered charities. If you want to make a donation directly to a charity, you can check its authenticity from the commission's website.

  • Disasters Emergency Committee

    This is the umbrella group which co-ordinates British Aid.

    Its members include: Save the Children, British Red Cross, Oxfam, World Vision, Tearfund, Merlin, Help the Aged, Christian Aid, Actionaid, Caford, Merlin, Concern.

    Online donations:

    By phone:

    0870 60 60 900.

    By post:

    DEC Tsunami Earthquake Appeal
    PO Box 999
    EC3A 3AA

    Make cheques payable to: DEC tsunami earthquake appeal.

    You can also make donations at any post office.

  • Volunteering

    Oxfam has appealed for 10,000 extra volunteers to help in its shops. You can do anything from sorting gifts for re-sale, to working on the till, for as little as four hours a week. Contact your local Oxfam shop - or look at the volunteering section on Oxfam's website

    Other charities featured on Breakfast

  • World Vision

    Monday's Breakfast talked to World Vision, who repeated the message that cash donations are best. You can donate online

  • Neasden Hindu temple appeal

    Sunday's Breakfast reported on the Tsunami appeal organised by the Hindu Temple in Neasden, North London. You can donate by phoning 0208 83 83 600.

    Or you can make your donation through the temple's website:

  • International Buddhist Relief Organisation, Birmingham

    Thursday's Breakfast reported live from the International Buddhist Relief Organisation. If you want to make a donation to the IBRO, you can contact them on 0121 382 7108

    This is a small selection of other organisations which are running special appeals to help the victims of the Tsunami

  • Unicef

    You can donate direct to the United Nations' children's fund. It's setting up a scheme to reunite children and families

  • Medecins Sans Frontieres

    International medical aid organisation. Needs cash donations and suitably qualified volunteers.

    Tracing missing friends and relatives

  • The Foreign Office helpline collates information about missing British people. It is extremely busy - and you should only call it if you have serious concerns about a close relative or friend.

    020 7008 0000

    If you have reported someone missing who has since been found safe and well, please let the helpline know on this number:

    020 8358 0110

  • The International Committee of the Red Cross

    Has a website which helps people trace family members caught in disasters and war zones. This is now handling enquiries from the relatives of Tsunami victims.

  • Independent travellers

    The Lonely Planet guidebook publisher has an online message board for anyone trying to contact missing friends and relatives following the Tsunami

    Travel advice

    For travel advice, contact your tour operator in the first instance. The Association of British Travel Agents has general advice for the area.

    Or ring the Foreign Office's travel Advice line (only if you're considering travelling to the affected area).
    0870 606 0290

  • On Friday's programme we heard from Tal Berman Howarth who believes her brother will be found alive.
    She was contacted by a British survivor of the tsunami in Thailand, who told her he'd seen her brother alive and well - two hours after the earthquake. But she still hasn't heard from him

    If you have any information about Avadya, you can contact Breakfast using this link, which sends an e-mail direct to our inbox:

  • You can use this form to e-mail the Breakfast team with your thoughts on the Indian Ocean disaster

    Your E-mail address
    Where you live

    The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


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