Many neighborhoods are still without 'official' help of any kind, and sometimes you can connect with a church or neighborhood group and send things directly to them. Just check to see which zip codes are still receiving via US mail delivery.
I found some people to help via the Sun Herald, the Biloxi MS newspaper that covers several coastal communities that were devastated by Katrina. And then I found another family on the west coast that is taking in multiple families of relatives.
But even if you can't donate $ or goods directly to Katrina victims, you can always donate time helping your local charity thrift store or food bank...the need is there all year long, not just after a visible disaster. And most of these evacuees will need long term help, and the reams of paperwork they'll go through to get it? Well, let's just say I'm glad I don't have to stand in multiple long lines and be asked to provide paperwork that is submerged back home or maybe even floated out to sea? The logistics of gathering all the needed documents that FEMA wants? SHEESH! Maybe that's an area where some of us can help?
Sun Herald article exerpt (THIS is part of what I'm talking about):
They are good neighbors who keep you in good hands, but when it comes to covering Hurricane Katrina losses their news may be bad.
"There are a large number of policies or claims that have already been denied by the major carriers on the grounds that the damage was almost exclusively caused by tidal surge rather than wind," said attorney Lance Stevens, who is chairing an ad hoc insurance committee set up by the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association.
"It became clear to us after Day One that this was going to be a huge economic issue in Mississippi and that people were going to be (financially) destroyed.
"I think it is essential that people on the Coast and their friends statewide ratchet up the political pressure to make the insurance companies do the right thing."
Homeowners' policies exclude water damage, here and in other states, said Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale. Dale said he is requiring insurance companies to prove water rather than wind caused damage before denying an insurance claim.
Nationwide Insurance Co. is assessing claims case by case, said corporate spokesman Joe Case.
"There's not any line being drawn," Case said. "Each case is unique and our claims adjusters will look at the circumstances."
If water damaged a house because of a hole in the roof, he said the loss would be covered. But when water comes from the ground, even in the case of tidal surge, losses are not covered under a standard homeowner's or hurricane policy.
Instead, a homeowner must have flood insurance. In July, only 21,593 flood insurance policies had been written in the three Coast counties, said Ed Pasterick, a senior advisor with the National Flood Insurance Program.