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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Business Heading Up Relief Effort.

I just received the following email from my friend, Richard Swannell, and thought I'd it with you:

Elliottician offices now Mission Control for Andhra Pradesh Relief Effort - until other aid agencies arrive in the area.

NB: See for the latest photos and details - updated daily.

Hello friends and clients of Elliottician, and friends of the Swannell family

This is a quick update.

Rich on Channel 10 News yesterday
- Video:
Personal Message to Staff and Friends:
- Video:
- Audio:

As you know, the tsunami disaster is the worst natural disaster in the history of the world.

I believe that we who have been spared this calamity have an obligation to do whatever we can to help our fellow human beings - regardless of their nationality or skin color.

As you may know, my wife and I have funded and built an orphanage over the past five years in Andhra Pradesh, Southern India. We are currently teaching some of our orphans how to trade foreign exchange.

Right now, our orphanage staff are providing the only support so far received to people on the East Coast of Andhra Pradesh, India.

Just a few minutes ago I gave my orphanage staff $10,000 to immediately spend on rice and bottled water - for 750 destitute families in a town near Ongle who have not had water or food for 9 days since the tsunami hit.

You can only try to imagine the situation there.

We are evacuating newly orphaned children from this community in the next few days to our orphanage.

Please try to understand this situation:

As I write this, nine days after the disaster, no one - no aid organization or government officials - have been able to reach a stretch of coastline between Ongole and Kakinada - 200 miles of coast in a state that is home to 90 million people.

The villages and towns on this coastline have been devastated.

The only visitors these people have had are my orphanage staff.

Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures.

So, for the next two weeks, Elliottician, the outlet for my products and services, is now become Mission Control for tsunami relief for the people of Andhra Pradesh, India.

Right now, Elliottician's sales staff are manning the phones 24 hours a day for anyone who wishes to donate by phone rather than over the internet.

The money is immediately being sent directly to India to rescue and feed those in the most desperate need.

If you want to do something, and know that 100% of the money is reaching the right people, then please donate now.

My wife, Mandy, and I are flying out in 48 hours from now to join the relief effort.

Everything else must be put on hold - regardless of the cost. These people, in this forgotten corner of the world - depend on Elliottician and us for their very survival right now.

Since emailing everyone I now just 4 days ago, we have received more than $100,000 in donations. So many of you have sent in messages of thanks and encouragement.

I am yet to reply personally to so many wonderful messages and countless questions. All I can say at this stage is please be patient. I will get back to you as soon as possible.

In the past 24 hours, Mandy and I have appeared on the evening news twice, and as a result, the phones have rung off-the-hook.

We have spent the majority of the past 24 hours being interviewed by the media. I can tell you, it has been hectic.

The Indian government has advised people not to enter the area because of the threat of disease. However, we are going anyway. Many people, including friends and family of people I know personally, are dying right now - the least we can do is show up.

I believe I was meant to be at this place, at this time, with these resources, to do this work for these people.

We have local people on the ground right now, we have the transport, our people know the situation, the customs, the language. We have staff at Elliottician to man phones around the clock. We have everything we need to provide aid to the people in need.

The need is overwhelming. The only limiting factor is finance.

You can call Elliottician right now, on (USA) +1 212 354 2324, or email us at

If you wish to donate on line, then go immediately to:

I am keeping a web page updated each day on progress:

(Follow the links to the tsunami page)

We have been overwhelmed with the need. And we have been overwhelmed with your response.

However, in the past four days, we have found the need to be so much bigger than we had imagined. Tens of thousands of people in desperate need - with no aid agency in sight.

So many of you have entrusted us with your donations. I feel so humbled. So overwhelmed. And I will do my utmost to make sure that the money goes to help the most people possible who, unlike us, and for no fault of their own, were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Help us help them.

Thank you so much.

Rich Swannell
(USA) +1 212 354 2324

Rich on Channel 10 News yesterday
- Video:
Personal Message to Staff and Friends:
- Video:
- Audio:

PS. If you have contacts with government or aid agencies, and can help us help them provide support for the people of Andhra Pradesh, please contact me personally - immediately.

PS. Many of you have taken my previous email to you, and distributed it to everyone you know. On behalf of the thousands of people we are currently helping, and the tens of thousands of people we are about to provide aid to - I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you have a list, a group, a church, an organization, clients or friends who are wanting - yearning, pleading - to do something positive, personal, and real for the people of Asia, then please distribute this letter on our behalf.

PS. Thank you thank you thank you.

I am not sure putting up these posts about the Swannell Foundation and the Hebron Orphanage is helping or motivating visitors to my blog to donate, but I hope it is at least getting the news out there. If you do donate, please drop me a note (comments or email) to let me know so I know that it is not a waste to let you know about this little known work.