Friday, September 2, 2005


We are all being inundated with appeals for help for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and it seems like it’s the charities that are doing a lot of the heavy lifting along the Gulf Coast. A lot of bloggers — including myself — have put links to charities on our sites, and I encourage my readers to do what they can to help.

That said, there’s also something to be said for deciding which charity to give to. A look at the list provided by FEMA is pretty comprehensive, and you’ll also notice that a lot of the organizations are “faith-based.” That’s fine, but you might want to investigate the background of the charity as well and consider what their group stands for beyond their charity work. For example, the Salvation Army has a wonderful record of being first responders to disasters, and have been for over a century. They are also pretty staunchly anti-gay rights. While I am sure they don’t ask the sexual orientation of the people they help (yeah, that’d go over well in New Orleans), you might consider giving to the American Friends Service Committee, which works to expand gay rights. Operation Blessing is the charity run by Pat Robertson. ‘Nuff said.

This is not to promote one organization over another — the need, after all, is to help the victims, not the charity. But also remember that once the immediate need has passed, you’re going to be on the mailing list for appeals from that charity for the rest of your life.

Do a little research before you give, then give what you can.