It’s nice to see “Donate to Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund” everywhere and it might be overwhelming for some. You feel helpless, you want to help, but where can you donate where it will do the most good? I’ve looked on a number of sites and scrounged up the following list of some charities/organizations where you can donate to help Hurricane Katrina victims. They need money more than anything else:
ACORN Hurricane Recovery Fund: ACORN is working to find and relocate out 9,000 New Orleans member families, provide mortgage counseling, and organizing to get the victims of Katrina the voice and services they need. All donations to ACORN are used to better the lives and communities of low- and moderate-income Americans.
American Red Cross: By making a financial gift to support Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts, the Red Cross can provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
AmeriCares Hurricane Relief Fund: AmeriCares is working urgently to bring aid to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Your donation will enable AmeriCares to bring assistance to those most in need in the aftermath of Katrina, as well as to bring immediate relief after future hurricanes.
America’s Second Harvest: 100% of your gift will go directly to support Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts.
City of Amite Relief Fund: This fund was actually created by a friend of mine whose father resides in Amite, a small town (pop. 4,000) outside of New Orleans that won’t be getting help from FEMA anytime soon because of the urgent demand to help victims of the Gulf Coast regions. Their goal is $10,000 and any amount you can donate would be greatly appreciated. This fund will go directly to the city to use where the need is greatest. It’s also a non-profit organization so you can write it off come tax time.
Habitat for Humanity Response: As conditions on the ground allow, Habitat teams will move to assist Habitat families and others who lived in the storm’s destructive path and provide whatever immediate assistance possible. Long-term assistance will involve Habitat affiliates and volunteers working together with those impacted by the storm in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
Houston SPCA: The Houston SPCA is offering free temporary board, shelter, and care to the pets of people streaming out of those states hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. Monetary donations are most needed to help them care for the hundreds of extra animals in their shelter now and those they will be taking in and caring for in the coming weeks and months.
Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation: The Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation has been established in order to help provide immediate assistance to our citizens in need through a network of Louisiana charities, non-profit and governmental agencies, including clearinghouses like the Louisiana VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster). The Foundation is also designed to support long-term family restoration and recovery by focusing on education, housing, health care, legal assistance and jobs for Louisiana families whose lives have been altered by Hurricane Katrina.
United Way of Greater Los Angeles: All funds will be allocated for both front-line disaster relief and long-term recovery needs, as determined by local United Ways in affected areas in coordination with a vast network of human services agencies and volunteer centers.
The event will be hosted by actor/comedian Harry Shearer (“The Simpsons,” This is Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind), with musical guest DJ Paul Oakenfold. Auction items up for grabs include travel packages, dinner at top restaurants and walk-on role for “Scrubs.” For anyone who couldn’t figure out a way to help with relief efforts, this is it. It’s sure to be more entertaining than NBC’s Kanye-cut West Coast replay of “A Concert for Hurricane Relief,” and much tastier. Tickets start at $100, but packages are available for up to $5,000 (most of which include a VIP reception with Harry Shearer in the house. Just don’t ask him to do his Montgomery Burns voice for you).
And if you rather pick your own charity, read this first to make yourself aware of Katrina-related scams and hoaxes.
I have a friend/former roommate who moved to New Orleans last November. We reconnected recently and I was even planning to visit her this year. When the hurricane hit, I had no way of getting a hold of her. I hope she’s OK and got out before things got really bad. Denise, call me!