My friend Aza and I came to Bali a week or so ago for a surf trip, and while we were there the earthquake hit Lombok (we also felt it in Bali, with our whole building swaying and tourists running outside screaming). We were planning on flying out to a small island to surf but instead switched our flight to go to Lombok. When we came into the airport most of the ground was covered with cardboard boxes and tourists who had been sleeping there for nights trying to get out. The day after we came in we met with locals who were involved in the help efforts and heard of the situation - thousands of people with little or no food and water (one woman who left a message on our local contact's phone screaming for water), supply trucks occasionally being ambushed by desperate locals, and countless people injured, with no homes, and some of whom have lost family members. Aza and I used our money to rent a large truck and with the help of the locals filled it with water, rice, medical supplies, and basic necessities we bought from the markets, and then drove it up north to the epicenter of the quake. It was really impactful to see the damage first hand, and also incredible to see the resilience of the people, the smiles and generous hearts of the children and adults even amidst the wreckage. While stopping at one of the camps we had quite a scare with a 6.2 magnitude quake hitting as we were unloading the supplies. We've never felt the earth shake back and forth so dramatically, feeling like violent sways of literally multiple feet from side to side as people were running and falling to the ground.
We are now reaching out to friends and family to help raise funds for the people who have lost their homes, livelihoods, and loved ones to the quake - and who already had so very little to start with. We are hoping to provide supplies for more large drop offs of resources, and have also coordinated with a local named Bayu who is a community leader here and is reaching out through his network to find families who are in particularly critical need. He is an incredible, selfless, humble, honest man, and has been helping connect us to the people and with buying bulk resources at the markets. In about 12 hours we are going to go to the refugee camps at the epicenter to make a second large drop off of food and resources with his help, and would greatly appreciate any donations to provide for this and future drop offs. We are also going to have Bayu find families who are most in need and have donations available to give in a very personal way if you would like to donate to a particular family. For donations to particular families in need Aza is also sponsoring a local filmer to video the donation being made so that we can send each person who donates to a family a video of their reactions on receiving the resources. Each family will be given at maximum $200 dollars, but if you would like to donate more you could sponsor multiple families. Every single penny, one hundred percent of the money, will go directly to the locals - with nothing being taken out for organizational overhead (as would be the case with many organizations or even individual fundraising sites).
If you would like to donate, please let me know if you would like the money to go to 1. Bulk Supplies (water, food, medical, and basic necessities sent in truck to the camps of those who have lost their homes) and/or 2. Families in Crisis (specific resources needed for families who have been especially devastated - and with this we will send you a video of the materials being received by the family). Donation money can be sent directly to Aza or I through Venmo (Tomas-Frymann or Aza-Steel) or can be sent to our GoFundMe page and we will personally cover the transaction fees. From there it go directly to purchase supplies or to the local person you sponsor. Any amount would be greatly appreciated and would make a huge difference in the life of someone here who is in a true place of immediate need.
Thank you so much and I hope you continue to share in good health, safety, and positivity with everyone around you who you love.