They needed cash - and the whole community responded. RICHARD PORRITT reports on local efforts so far ...
ON BOXING Day last year the world was rocked by the worst natural disaster in living memory.
It took days for the full devastation caused by the Asian tsunami to be realised.
Now, two months on, the authorities have stopped counting the dead. The official death toll stands at 380,000 - but many more perished.
As soon as the horrific scenes began being beamed back to our living rooms people in Huddersfield vowed to make a difference.
Never before have so many fundraising events been organised, everything from charity haircuts to line dancing.
So far, thanks to your incredible efforts, Unicef and the Examiner have raised a stunning £45,985.13 - and the amount is still rising.
Louis Coles, Unicef's Yorkshire fundraising manager, said the amount raised by Examiner readers was amazing.
He said the money from the joint appeal is already making a big difference to people struggling after their towns and villages were destroyed.
Mr Coles added: "We have done a number of appeals with the Examiner during the years. But we have never raised this much cash before. It has been amazing.
"Everybody who has given money to help out, whether it is by organising a big event or just donating what they can, should be very proud.
"The money is already out there, but the ways in which it is being spent are changing and will continue to change as time goes by.
"The response we got straight away from people was incredible. It seemed like everyone wanted to help."
Mr Coles said that now the initial aid to save people's lives had reached the places it needed to go money would be spent in a different way. And he scotched suggestions that no more money was needed.
"For decades to come Unicef will be working in the countries hit by the tsunami. Our aim now is one of rebuilding," he said.
"And that does not simply mean buildings. There will be children who saw the most horrific things who will need our help - possibly for the rest of their lives.
"And we must also protect the children who are vulnerable from trafficking and the kind of people who would like to abuse this dreadful situation," said Mr Coles.