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September 02, 2005

A Momentary Fug Break: Updated Tuesday, 3:47 p.m.

Thank you beyond measure to everyone who's sent us links we might otherwise never have found; there's a ton of really interesting stuff being done, from major national charities to Whole Foods supermarkets getting in on the action, to Brett Favre galvanizing his foundation to take specialized donations. Read on for a consistently updated list.

About the only thing uglier than the perfect storm of fug that blows through this site is the actual hurricane that's just wiped away towns, soaked and sullied one of the country's most unique cities, and devastated three states in such a way that these people -- these families -- don't know when life can ever resume in anything resembling a normal, familiar way.

We know you've been inundated with horrifying news images, reports, and personal stories from the Hurricane Katrina tragedy, and we also know most of you have already reached into your pocketbooks to help the people in need. But just in case anybody out there needs some direct links to Web sites through which they can contribute to relief efforts -- especially in New Orleans -- we'd like to list a few here. Especially because, due to the volume of traffic, the traditional Red Cross site might be running slowly.

For ease of use, we've recategorized these -- as best we can -- into charities and local relief, donation-matching foundations and organizations, donation-matching retailers, and retailers sending profits straight to relief organizations.


Network For Good -- A nonprofit organization that has a page on its site devoted to listing different types of groups to whom you can donate besides the Red Cross -- including the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (rescuing pets), Charity Hospital of New Orleans, and the Salvation Army.

Storm Aid - run by Clear Channel in conjunction with the Red Cross.

Feed The Children - An international nonprofit organization.

Mercy Corps -- Formerly refugee-focused organization that now focuses on helping find long-term solutions for families living in poverty.

Hurricane Housing -- This is a housing clearinghouse trying to match people made homeless by the storm with available beds and rooms and couches located within 300-500 miles of the Gulf Coast.

Give Life -- A blood donation site that helps get quick appointments at clinics near where you live.

The Humane Society of America -- The link takes you to its disaster-relief fund.

Noah's Wish -- An animal-rescue facility, critical because so many people are being forced to leave their pets behind or make Sophie's Choices between several.

American Kennel Club - Another animal relief effort.

Brett Favre: Hot And Socially Conscious: The Green Bay Packers quarterback is a Mississippi native whose Fourward Foundation is taking donations for the victims. Click the link to find out how to contribute.

Southern Mutual Help -- Non-profit organization that aims to help rebuild disaster-stricken rural areas.

Ronald McDonald House -- A reader tells us, "There was a Ronald McDonald House on Canal Street in New Orleans that probably will need some major help. The families staying there have children being treated for cancer and other serious illnesses at nearby hospitals. I haven't heard anything specific on the news, but it seems like both the families staying there and the building itself will need help. I don't know the URL for the Ronald McDonald House in New
Orleans, but donations can be made to the national office. You can also find contact information for your local Ronald McDonald House there."

St. Vincent De Paul -- Another reader shares, "My alma mater of LSU has recently been turned into a makeshift shelter for evacuees. Our local chapter of the Red Cross is up to capacity with donations and has asked that funds be sent to the St. Vincent De Paul Dining Room. These folks are working overtime to feed the thousands of people taking refuge in the capital, and I'm sure donations would be much appreciated. Unfortunately everything must be snail-mailed, but the contact information is located online."

Food for the Astrodome - Another reader from Houston writes, "I am a volunteer in the Houston area for the displaced New Orleans evacuees being housed in the Astrodome. If you would like to donate money to provide meals to these evacuees locally, you can do so by clicking that link. If any of your readers are in the Houston area, they can also find information on how to volunteer their time serving food and providing other services at the Astrodome."

Second Red Cross link -- Yahoo! has up a site that gives straight to the Red Cross, but can handle overflow traffic the regular Red Cross site can’t. Thanks to the reader who sent this to us!

Northwest Medical Teams -- The site says, "We are... helping local church-based groups provide lodging and food for refugees; shipping emergency health supplies; dispatching mobile health vans to address public health needs; sending staff and volunteers to help medical relief efforts." A reader tells us NWT has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

PETsMART - The retailer is funneling funds from its usual charities to Hurricane Katrina victims. Click to investigate and donate.

Best Friends Animal Society is working to coordinate pet and animal rescue in the area.

A reader tells us that Discovery Toys has partnered with the American Red Cross "to get much needed cash and award-winning educational and comforting products to Hurricane Katrina victims. We will immediately be shipping $20,000 worth of product and look forward to sending much more. You can help! For the initial drive, through the month of September, for every dollar of donation made, Discovery Toys will donate and ship five times the value of toys for distribution by local volunteers." Check out the website to learn more.

Worried about the thousands of historic buildings possibly destroyed by the storm? The good people at the National Trust for Historic Preservation have set up a relief fund set up, with monies going toward preserving the incredible amount of historic properties in New Orleans.

Another organization devoted to saving pets is the North Shore Animal League of America, which has already begun rescuing animals from the areas hit by the hurricane.

More than one reader has written to sing the praises of the Mennonite Disaster Service organization, which has a history of disaster relief organization, and has been on the ground in New Orleans since the hurricane struck. Learn more at their website.

Another organization getting involved in relief efforts, especially rebuilding, is Habitat for Humanity.

Project Backpack is a nation-wide effort to provide school supplies for children who lost their homes in the hurricane.

The Louisiana Library Association is accepting donations to help rebuild libraries in the affected areas.

The Houston animal shelter is taking care of lots of pets for folks stuck in the Astrodome.

Lutheran Disaster Relief fund is, according to a reader, "an outstanding organization with experienced volunteers. 100% of giving goes to the designated need."

The American Friends Service Committee, which is a Quaker organization with a program called Emergency Material Assistance Program (EMAP), is accepting donations on their website.

This is very interesting: A reader has pointed us to a list of all the colleges and universities willing to offer accomodation to displaced students. According to our helpful reader, "the accomodations offered vary greatly; a large number include tuition and fees waivers or deferrments, late registration, and "good-faith" admissions for students who cannot produce transcripts or documentation. Some even include room and board for free or reduced rates. A number of Canadian colleges are offering expedited visa processing. Most schools are offering visiting or special student status to those affected by the hurricane, so that they won't have to go through the paperwork involved in transferring out of and then back to their home institution. If you could add this to your list, it would greatly help get the word out to those who need it."

Of interest to people who support gay marriage and abhor Louisiana's constitutional ban: Lambda Legal is collecting money to aid couples in which one half was wounded or killed and the other needs legal assistance because the state doesn't recognize them as a couple. A reader explains that donors must specify that they want the check to go to legal assistance of Katrina survivors. Also, the Rainbow World Fund is accepting donations.


The Barry Manilow Fund - The Schnozzed One's personal foundation will match donations and send all of it to the Red Cross.

The Chicago Tribune's McCormick Foundation -- This group is matching 50 percent of each dollar of donations made through their site (up to two million dollars).  All donations go directly to hurricane relief organizations. [NOTE: They've reached their two million limit and will no longer be matching donations]

DonorsChoose.org - A reader says, "Right now they're participating in the Amazon Challenge, in which a group of charities is competing to receive the most donations until Sept. 30, because Amazon will then match those donations. DonorsChoice just sent out an e-mail this yesterday saying that all donations to the Amazon Challenge for the next week will go to Hurricane Katrina-related projects, such as a 4th-grade class that wants to replace lost school supplies for another class in the region."

Don't tell anyone, but the Fug Girls secretly love watching Ellen. And now we hear that Warner Brothers is donating $500,000 and then matching up to $500,000 of donations given through Ellen's website.


Whole Foods Market -- Apparently you can buy donation coupons at the chain's stores, and Whole Foods will apparently match these donations up to $1 million. Proceeds go to the American Red Cross. Click the link for more information. The supermarket is also implementing a job relocation plan for people who worked in its damaged locations.

Amoeba Music - One of the coolest record stores around is matching all contributions given to donation buckets in its stores. Best Buy - Through the end of September, if you donate at the register or through the Web site, the company will match it dollar-for-dollar and send the contributions to the Red Cross.

Peet’s Coffee -- Matching dollar for dollar all contributions made.

Costco - The retailing giant is matching contributions dollar-for-dollar, and donations can be made at the register.


Lisa Kline - From an employee, "Starting yesterday (and we haven’t put a cap on it, just going on as long as necessary) Lisa Kline has pledged 5% of all sales -- not just profits -- from www.lisakline.com to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief efforts."

Wawa - This convenience store, located in five states, is offering a donation program that funnels money to the Red Cross.

Office Max is apparently allowing its customers to add donation money to their total bill when they check out.

a href="http://www.starbucks.com">Starbucks is accepting donations at its registers.

From a reader: making different donations themselves."

From a reader: "Bungie, a subsidiary of Microsoft and creator of the super nerdy on line X-box Halo games has made this shirt, which is being sold for $20, $15 of which goes to Red Cross.

A reader in Southern Minnesota tells us that some local branches of the Great Harvest Bread Co. are donating all of Saturday's proceeds to hurricane relief; she suggests you contact your local branch to see if they, too, are participating.

Crafters' United - An online shop created exclusively to sell donated items. All the proceeds are going to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund.

Give A Little - A reader says, "Knitters have pledged dozens of donations of yarn, finished knitting, and other knitting-related items to be used as prizes and auction items. As of this writing, they've already raised over $15,000. They're also accepting cash donations for the American Red Cross."

eBayhas a Katrina Disaster Relief area set up on their site, where proceeds from auctions go directly to the relief effort.

A reader tells us that "For people in the northeast, where Giant and Martins grocery stores exist, they are accepting donations for the red cross at the registers. Kick in a buck, five bucks, or whatever you can give."

CDBaby.com, an independent music distribution site, is featuring the work of over 5000 musicians who have chosen to donate all money from sales of CDs to the Red Cross disaster relief fund.

For those readers who are also fans of the good folks at Television Without Pity, TWop is having their own little recap-telethon. For every $2000 donated, "a TWoP recapper will recap something weird and wonderful of their choosing." The money is going to Donors Choose and Amazon's relief fund. Learn more and donate here.

The knitting website,The Naked Sheep is donating a percentage of all on-line sales to the Red Cross.

Finally, many places are accepting donations at the register. In fact, judging from anecdotel evidence, and our email, if your market/local drugstore/favorite fast food restuarant ISN'T accepting donations at the register, it's probably just a front for aliens looking to harvest your soul, and you should stop shopping there.

Our hearts go out to everyone in that blighted region.

Posted by H & J at 10:37 AM | Permalink


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