Update on charitable giving; specially for British taxpayers
As far as I can tell, the only UK charity accepting Katrina donations with Gift Aid is the Salvation Army. I am sure the Salvation Army do great work, but I really don't think they want my grubby heathen money. Any of you Christian taxpayers out there; for every 78p you donate they'll get a quid. So I'll wait a few days and see if other charities work out that this is a good idea. Meanwhile I seem to be donating money in dribs and drabs; to the much-linked underwear fund, for bits and pieces of stuff where the proceeds are going to hurricane relief, and so on. It feels a bit inadequate, and I also feel tugged by purpletigron's call to donate money to really poor places. If you do too, then Givenow.org, the Charities Aid Foundation's version of the commercial Justgiving.com, has got some matching funds for a few worthy causes, so your 78p can be worth as much as £1.19 to the charity. Which is pretty neat. (CAF also do the fabulous Good Gifts catalogue; which is the one that led to reverendjim being given a variety of goats last Christmas, or so I understand.)
More suggestions welcome.
Update:smofbabe has pointed me at ShelterBox, a Rotary-organised scheme to pack complete survival kits (tent, sleeping bags, cooking and eating equipment, torches, water tablets & carrier) for 10 people into boxes; the advantage being that you can ship them out very quickly as soon as you know there's a need anywhere in the world, and no special co-ordination is required at the other end other than getting them into the hands of homeless families. It's a British venture (with Canadian, US and Australian offshoots) and Gift Aid ready. You can't hypothecate donations, but they do tell you where the box that you contributed to went. They're sending 1500 boxes for Katrina relief.