BEST WAY TO HELP VICTIMS OF HURRICANES KATRINA AND RITA
Updated August 27, 2010
announces its top-rated charities which continue offering services
to the victims of the 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Southeast
U.S. Hurricane Katrina devastated major cities along the Gulf coast,
including New Orleans, Biloxi and Mobile, with strong winds up to
140 mph in some areas and flooding. Not long afterwards, Hurricane
Rita severely damaged small coastal communities including Lake Charles
and Holly Beach in Louisiana and Port Arthur and Beaumont in southeast
Five years after the storms, recovery has been uneven
and a great deal of work remains to be done. Residents of the Gulf
are recovering not only from the storms, but also the recession
and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A tight job and rental market
are making in particularly difficult for low-income hurricane victims
to recover. According to Census estimates, the New Orleans metro
area has regained 91% of its pre-Katrina population, but only 78%
of the population has returned to the city itself.
CharityWatch, a leading charity watchdog that issues letter grade
(A+ to F) ratings of nonprofit groups, identifies the following
relief charities, which are providing aid to the victims. These
charities have received an A or B grade
based on the portion of their budget going to program services and
their fundraising efficiency.
Charities with a *
have also provided aid to victims of Hurricane Rita.
Note: Links will open in a new window
Friends Service Committee (A-)
Red Cross (A)
for Humanity International - National Office (B+)
Rescue Committee (A+)
A Jewish Response to Hunger (A+)
the Children (A+)
charities perform favorably in relation to CharityWatch benchmarks:
1) A charity should spend at least 75% of its budget
on program services.
2) Charities should spend no more than $25 to raise $100.
Contact your favorite charities to find out if they
provide the specific types of aid that you would like to fund, e.g.,
emergency relief, health care, infrastructure development, education,
Americans wanting to help the hurricane victims should send contributions
to only those charities with an established track record of helping
people in this region.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Donation:
Give to newly created charities only if you have reliable third-party
verification of their credibility and/or have knowledge of and trust
the officers and directors of the new group.
· Do not assume that a claimed celebrity endorsement
is real or that the celebrity has adequately scrutinized the charity.
· Give with check or credit card instead of
cash. There is little assurance that coin or currency donations
will actually go to the intended beneficiary.
· Be cautious about giving to individual disaster
victims that show up on covers of magazines or on television. Unpublicized
victims may be more in need than publicized victims who are often
flooded with gifts.
· Be cautious about giving in response to a
telemarketing call. If you decide to donate, make sure you have
reviewed all the information from the charity and ask what percentage
of your contribution will fund the pertinent programs. For
more tips on giving click here.
SEND A CHECK, NOT GOODS
best way to help is by sending a check. Cash donations enable charities
to buy the most needed types of food, medicine, clothing, shelter
materials and other supplies. By buying relief products locally
or regionally, charities can reduce shipping costs and more rapidly
deliver assistance. Before sending any goods, first contact the
charity to find out if they are appropriate and if it will be cost
effective to distribute them. For example, after the tsunami in
southeast Asia, boxes of donated winter coats, scarves and fuzzy
hats, completely useless items in tsunami stricken nations with
tropical climates, were sent to these nations.