International Airlines To Be Applauded AS Tsunami Docs Return From New Orleans

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Five young Indonesian Tsunami doctors brought in by Orphans International to help out with Katrina disaster areas in the U.S. where doctors have been extremely needed are returning to the Orphans International Headquarters in NYC for the annual Orphans International Benefit at the Harvard Club. The event will contain New York State Assemblyman Pete Grannis, the ambassador of the Dominican Repulic Erasmo Lara Pena, the Consul General of Venezuela, various other dignitaries along with the United Nations Singers. Orphans International commenced in Indonesia around 9/11 through a difficult climate but has been just as helpful then as it was during the Tsunami catastrophe and continues to do so in various parts of the world.

Orphans International (OI) will recognize the international airlines industry for its contribution to humanitarian efforts at OI's fourth annual benefit to be held Nov. 22 at the Harvard Club in Manhattan. OI's Indonesian "Tsunami Docs" will also be present as they return to Jakarta after volunteering in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. The United Nations Singers will perform, and diplomats will speak from a variety of countries.

The pre-benefit press-conference is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 5pm at the Harvard Club. It will feature the airlines which have assisted Orphans International (OI) in its formation, including Air France, sponsor of the benefit which will follow; China Airlines (Taipei); Singapore Airlines which has assisted with flying staff via Indonesia, as well as American Airlines which has assisted OI in Haiti. The Indonesian doctors will be also available for questions. The Harvard Club is located at 27 West 44th Street.

"I began Orphans International from my New York home four years ago. Today we are building projects on regions spread out across four continents, including the Pacific Islands, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, and Europe," states founder. "We could not have done this without the assistance of the international airline industry and that is why we are recognizing their humanitarian assistance," Luce adds. "This is why we feel so strongly about presenting our World of Appreciation Award to these airlines," he adds. "Our budget last year was under $80,000, this year $250,000 and next year may reach $1 million," states Rosa Suárez, Board president.

Orphans International America has received bi-partisan support from civil and government officials such as former president Bill Clinton, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, and Representatives Carolyn Maloney     and Charlie Rangel. Diplomats from The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Peru, Taiwan, The Philippines, Togo, and Venezuela are expected to be in attendance. Orphans International is a non-partisan, interfaith organization incorporated in New York in 2002. In Indonesia, the Acehenese Ministry of Social Affairs recently recognized Orphans International's work with tsunami orphans along with UNICEF and Save the Children.

OI's mission is "Raising Global Citizens" and OI's children remain in their native countries to become educated to their fullest potential and then help move their countries forward; OI does not place children for adoption in America. Projects are running in both Sumatera and Sulawesi in Indonesia; another project opened this year in Haiti. Projects in formation include El Salvador, Romania, Togo, the Philippines, Peru, Ghana, and Guyana. Plans include working with AIDS orphans in both China and India. Each OI campus is working towards full programming for the orphaned children and the village community with classes for English, computer science, and a strong emphasis on the arts.

Tickets to the benefit are $100 in advance and $110 at the door. More detailed information is available on OI's website, http://www.oiww.org; the organization's monthly e-newsletter is available on-line. Last year less than 3% of OI America’s income was spent on management. OI America is designated as a 501(c) 3 organization by the IRS.

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Jim Luce
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