Local Family Raises $90,000 for Tsunami Victims

A few weeks ago, we told you about a local Sri Lankan family raising money for children affected by the tsunami. Since our story aired, they've raised nearly $100,000. Organizers are thrilled and somewhat surprised with the success of their efforts. Kethes Sri Kanthan, the man who has spearheaded the effort, says all the money raised has far exceeded his expectations.

It's been a month since the tsunami killed more than 157,000 in eleven different counties, leaving millions homeless and many children orphans.

"So far the death toll in Sri Lanka is over 80,000, one-third children," said Sri Kanthan.

His family is from Sri Lanka, one of the hardest-hit areas. "That's the first thing I do as soon as I wake up is check all the newspapers from back at home," he said.

After the disaster, Sri Kanthan realized just how much his native country needed help, especially the children. That's when he began collecting money through the Martin De Porres Society.

The letters and checks began pouring in. "Since the interview by you, the checks started coming in, my life has really changed," said Sri Kanthan. "I mean, there are so many checks every day that we've been receiving."

Checks adding up to $90,000. "My goal, I thought, would be $50,000. I didn't realize the public would have such an outpouring of support for tsunami victims."

And all the money raised through the generosity of the Coastal Empire will help those who need it most. "One hundred percent of the money collected will go to the orphanages," said Sri Kanthan.

The Martin de Porres society is still collecting money. If you are interested in donating, you can send checks to:

Martin de Poores Society
4 Brooks Lane
Savannah, GA 31411

Sri Kanthan is going to Sri Lanka himself next month to make sure every penny goes to those who need it most.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com