Of course the official by-line by the government is to send donations to the Red Cross and various other Big Charities.
I'm not going to tell you NOT to donate to these big charities, but you might want to do a bit of research on the topic before throwing away your money.
I have several friends who were boots on the ground in Haiti after the earthquake that devastated their country- medics, midwives, nurses.... all the type of people that would of and should of seen the effects of the Red Cross's help. They saw nothing. To the best of their knowledge none of the money donated to the Red Cross arrived in Haiti in any form. Ever.
These so-called "Charities" are a scam and a sham. You want to have a glimpse into the reality of the vast majority of these huge charities, take a look at their books. Look at the salaries of their executives. Look at their operation costs. Look at their bottom line of exactly what percentage of your hard earned dollar actually gets to the people they are supposedly representing and helping.
I've mentioned this before: many years ago I worked as a volunteer medic in SE asia and I got a good look at the disgusting waste of these "charities"- executives flying around first class with their Louis Vuitton suitcases, staying in 5 star suites in expensive hotels.
...I personally won't give these organizations a red cent.
If you want to help out, look for small groups that are THERE already doing the work. I read this blurb this morning and I think that it's a pretty good idea:
Without the bureaucracy, delays and problems associated with The Red Cross, FEMA and other huge organizations, the Occupy Movement in NYC is coordinating supplies, donations, and volunteers in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Facebook, Twitter, updates via text - and it's all about getting there IMMEDIATELY to help the thousands that remain without electricity and basic needs in the cold RIGHT NOW.
Spread the word!
TO DONATE OR HELP IN PERSON: http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/
Bibi Farber Nextworldtv
The Occupy movement has already proven that they are capable of gathering supplies and feeding the masses, with little fan fare and lots of elbow grease. I'm not saying that their organization or set up is perfect, but it's a whole lot better than sending your hard earned cash to an organization who has an extensive track record of NOT getting aid to the people that need it. Just sayin'.
Don't want to be involved with Occupy? Fine. Start calling around to local churches, communities centres and local small charities. Ask them what they are doing to help those in need in the aftermath of Sandy and then make a decision whether you wish to help them help others.
Don't take the easy way out. Anyone can call a 1-800 and read the numbers off their credit card to make a donation. But it takes a special person to make the effort to really make a difference.