Blog For Relief Day
(photo: Carolyn Cole / LAT)I don't have a specific charity in mind to ask you to donate to; everyone has their favorite charities for one reason or another and all I ask is that you - if you haven't already - give a few dollars to them today.
One suggestion I would like to make, however, is to give some money to Paul over at Wizbang. Paul is in the thick of the destruction down there and he is trying to help out people he encounters:
Probably 90% of the money will be spent on rent for people who have no homes. That is by far the biggest problem. Hotel rates hover in the mid $80 range... that's $2400 a month with no way to cook food. I've seen a few people sleeping in their cars.
He is accepting Paypal through Kevin, who is covering the Paypal fees for him, so all the money goes directly to Paul, who will distribute it as he sees fit.
If you are short on cash and don't have the money to spare, perhaps you can go to your local blood bank and give blood. Or you can contact local churches and service organizations to see if they are doing any relief work, maybe you could help collect goods for them or load up trucks. I'm sure if you hit the website of your local paper, there will be a list of local relief efforts you can take part in.
Perhaps you can start a fund drive at work; if you do, see if your company will do matching donations.
Talk to the principal at your kids' schools to see if you can get a relief drive started within. I thought it might be a nice idea for school kids to make cards to send to the affected children - something to let them know people are thinking about them.
If I think of any other ideas (that can be done in lieu of giving cash) during the day, I'll post them. And by all means, if you have a favorite charity, please leave a link in the comments.
Also try the Network for Good. There are a few animal charities listed there, for those inclined to help the furry guys.
Instapundit has more links to lists plus, at the same link, the first list of bloggers participating in the Blog for Relief Day.
Here's a complete list of blogs that are participating thus far.
Update: I'm still doing the Good News thing. If I get enough - and it's getting increasingly hard to find good news - I'll start a third post.
Another update: If you have personal favorite charities (besides the big ones like SA or Red Cross or Catholic Charities) please leave a link in the comments and I'll be happy to list them up here.
The local community foundations in the impacted areas are an excellent way to get money where it is needed most. The Baton Rouge Area Foundation has set up the following two funds:
The Hurricane Katrina Displaced Residents Fund will benefit those individuals evacuated to Baton Rouge from the hurricane impacted areas in Greater New Orleans, who are now unable to return for what may be an extended period. Early official estimates suggest that as many as 500,000 individuals may be required to remain in our area for up to six months, and they will face numerous challenges related to housing, food, education, healthcare and basic survival necessities. This fund will support those entities and programs in our area that endeavor to meet these critical needs, as well as address the impact this influx of residents will have on our community.
The Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Recovery Fund will focus on the rebuilding of infrastructure to provide basic human services to residents of these devastated areas. The Baton Rouge Area Foundation will coordinate closely with federal, state and local officials in an attempt to provide resources to programs and efforts that positively and immediately impact the quality of life of these individuals, and contribute to the overall rebuilding of critical service delivery mechanisms in the New Orleans area.
If you would like to make a secure financial donation to one or both of these funds using your credit card go to:
Please note this from Aaron:
I've done quite a bit of work in air freight, ground freight, and ground transportation by bus and truck. If you have a humanitarian project for New Orleans or the Gulf Coast that requires this, I have contacts (or contacts who have contacts) in every major city in the United States and Canada, and in most medium-sized cities. Feel free to click on my name ("Aaron") at the bottom of this post to email me and we'll talk. If you're looking for donated services, I can't guarantee that anybody will say yes, but I can try. Otherwise, I'll do what I can to help raise money for it.