A number of people have already called the Calandra Institute about how to help out with the earthquake disaster in Abruzzo. In addition to the devastating damage caused in L'Aquila, a number of smaller surrounding villages have experienced even greater personal and structural harm. Some reports have stated that an entire village or two were destroyed and a large percentage of the population harmed or killed.
When this happened 25 years ago in the Lazio and Campania Regions, the Italian, Italian-American, and American communities came forth with outstanding support. Our sisters and brothers in Abruzzo now need our assistance, and the output of help in these two past days has been nothing short of outstanding.
In these past 48 hours, a number of local and national Italian-American organizations have sent out messages offering to receive donations for the earthquake victims and pass them on. Indeed, this morning I also received an email announcement from the OSIA (http://www.osia.org), now joining NIAF (www.niaf.org/relief) and UNICO (www.unico.org) on the national level. We applaud their efforts and encourage all to help as best we each can.
We have been in contact with members of the Italian government and have asked them to advise us accordingly on where we might also send donations and other means of support. As I write, they are still awaiting instructions as to where donations may also be sent directly to Italy, all of which facilitates matters for some. Therefore, as soon as we know something more definitive from the Italian government, we will pass it on to you.
In closing, we extend our most heart-felt condolences to those who have lost relatives in this tragic event.