Residents reach out to Asia


Originally published in Dubois County Herald
By Jason Ragan, Herald Staff Writer

Many Americans watched in horror as the death toll from the devastating tsunami in southern Asia continued to grow.

But for one Dubois County family, the disaster struck close to home.

Ying Moss, a native of Thai-land, has lived in the States for 13 years and calls Jasper home.

For Moss, the moments after she heard the news were spent on the phone calling her mother, sister and a brother back in Thai-land. 

She kept getting a busy signal. After a day of trying, she was able to contact her family. They were not harmed by the tsunami.

After some persistence, she also reached a friend in Thailand who works as a nurse in the hard-hit city of Phuket. Her friend told Ying, also a nurse, stories of patients lined up in the hallway of the hospital and described the scene as chaotic.

Her friend told Moss she had "never seen anything like this in her life."

The death toll in Thailand is about 5,000 and the tsunami has claimed 140,000 lives in southern Asia.

"This is one of the worst disasters in Thailand," she said.

Ying's husband, Richard Moss, a New York native, worked as a doctor in Asia from 1988 to 1991.

Because of his time in Asia, Moss said he will always have a special fondness for that region.

In March he visited in Thai-land with colleagues and friends he made while he worked there.

"Thailand will be able to bounce back," Moss said. He said Thailand is more developed than other countries like Sri Lanka and Indonesia that were devastated by the tsunami.

"When you drive through Thailand it's like you're driving through America," he said.

Both Ying and Richard Moss were moved to help with the recovery in some way and have teamed up with Tina Dearing, executive director of the local service center of the American Red Cross, to so-licit donations for disaster relief.

Richard and Ying Moss are accepting donations to the Red Cross at their office, 721 W. 23rd St., Jasper.

From Dec. 26 through Jan. 5, more than $103.2 million was pledged to the American Red Cross. Of that, approximately $69.2 million has been received in cash.

Ying said she wanted to do something to help the people of Thailand and all the victims of the tsunami. She said that in Thailand a little money can help lots of residents. She estimated that $4,000 could build a home.

"America is the most generous country in the world and I'm grateful to live here," she said.

Other residents in the county are also giving to the relief efforts.

Last Sunday, Huntingburg United Methodist Church collected roughly $2,000 for tsunami relief.

United Methodist Committee On Relief is a national organization within the Methodist Church which helps facilitate donations in situations such as the southern Asia disaster.

"When we saw that it was over $2,000, that was a shock to me," Treasurer Connie Evans said.

She said the congregation is of-ten generous when aid is needed on the local level but "this is the first time I've seen this type of sup-port on an international level."

Donations to UMCOR's "South Asia Emergency" may be made through local United Methodist churches and designated for UMCOR Advance No. 274305.

Donations may be made to the Red Cross by sending donations to the American Red Cross, International Response Fund, P0. Box 37243, Washington DC 20013 or to the local service center at 312 N. Main St., Huntingburg. Those donations should indicate that they are for disaster relief. Dearing notes that money donated to the national relief effort does not support the local service center, which receives no national support and is also always in need of donations. Donations for the local service center may be made in person or by mail to the Dubois County Local Service Center of the American Red Cross.


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