How to Assist With New Orleans Hurricane Relief

Are you aware of the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina but unsure of how to help? Read on for some ideas...


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    Donate any money you can spare and/or raise. In any relief situation, this is the most effective and efficient way to help, because it's the organizations that are directly involved with the relief efforts that best know what resources are needed. There are many ways to raise money, such as:

    • Host a lemonade stand or a car wash, especially during a weekend.
    • Organize a charity drive.
    • Put a donation jar at your place of work, in a place where everybody will see it, like the lunch room.
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    Volunteer your time and talent. If you are trained in any way that may constructively aid the relief efforts, such as CPR, emergency care, or firefighting, then contact your national association to see if they are able to match your skills with a need in one of the affected areas. However, avoid the impulse to jump in your car and just go. See the Warnings below.
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    Send supplies. If you own a business that has large reserves of items that are desperately needed in the disaster area, find a way to get them there. Contact an organization that has agreed to accept your supplies before you transport them. The last thing you want is to send your supplies only to find that no one knows what to do with them or how to distribute them appropriately.
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    Host a refugee. If you can make space in your home for a hurricane refugee, post the availability on Craigslist (see External Links below).
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    Choose an established organization which can best use your money, time, skills, and/or supplies. Reputable organizations and their websites are listed below.
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    Volunteer with the local American Red Cross, Southeast Louisiana Chapter, N I-10 Service Road East, Metairie, LA 70002, E-mail:, Phone: 504-620-3105, Fax: 504-827-2135, Web site:


  • If you are skilled or trained in any way to work with animals, consider volunteering your time to rescuing and caring for stranded pets separated from their owners.
  • Don't go to the store and buy supplies to send to the affected area. Instead, send the money directly to an organization working there. They know what is most needed, and they can purchase those items in bulk.
  • Ask your employer if they will provide a matching donation for any contribution you make to this effort.


  • Be wary of telemarketers or email spam claiming to represent charities. Sadly some of these operations are fraudulent.
  • Do not attempt to travel to any of the affected areas unless you've been called to duty by a recognized non-profit or public organization. The additional confusion that you can create can hinder the relief effort despite your good intentions.

Sources and Citations

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