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How You Can Help Hurricane Katrina Victims

Last Christmas, a tsunami pummeled Southeast Asia, killing some 140,000 people and leaving millions homeless. The death toll after Sunday's arrival of Hurricane Katrina just east of New Orleans, so far, isn't nearly as great but the physical destruction along the Gulf Coast may be just as devastating and mind-boggling.

Even worse, just as residents of New Orleans thought they had been spared the full brunt of the category 4 hurricane, two levees built to protect to Crescent City from flooding broke yesterday, submerging some 80 percent of the city -- some areas up to 20 feet deep.

If you've been keeping up with the news reports as I have, no one has a clue how long it will take for Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi residents to reclaim their lives and rebuild their homes. Until that time comes, you can do your part by donating your time and dollars to relief efforts to keep your fellow Americans safe, fed and as comfortable as possible.

Because time is of the essence and the need is great, you're no doubt wondering which organization can do the most good with your money. After doing some investigating of my own (prompted by the World Trade Center disaster), I've found the Salvation Army to be the most effective charitable organization in this country.

Regarded the "General Electric" of charities, the Salvation Army provides some $2.5 billion annually, with an impressive 84 cents out of every dollar funding program services.

If you want to ensure every penny you donate counts, I urge you to visit their home page, and click on the link under Financial Donations to make your donation online.

Please do it today!

USA Today August 31, 2005

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