I was hoping to use this space to expand about our trip, but I was preempted by Katrina. So instead, I want to remind everyone that now is the time to dig deep into our pockets and hearts, but stay clear of scams.
In addition to the American Red Cross, many religous organizations (Catholic, Jewish, Methodist, etc.) are collecting funds. I think the list at Network for Good is quite extensive although no list could ever be completely inclusive because so many organizations both local and national are helping out.
Returning to the issue of fundraising scams, my friends at ScamBusters.org have created an excellent resource here: ScamBusters.org: Hurricane Katrina Scams