At times of disaster and distress, technology can create the most exceptional bonds between strangers and friends. Today is no different, as the blogging universe, the blogosphere, whatever you want to call it, bands together to spread the word of the importance of charity in this time of need.
Yesterday, unaware that this would happen, I added links to the right sidebar. There are so many more helpful organisations.
My charity of first resort is inevitably Episcopal Relief and Development. I have a long familiarity with the good work it does globally. And ERD isn't only handing out what's needed at a particular time (not that there's anything wrong with that), it lives out the "development" part of its name in real and tangible ways. Its efforts in the aftermath of the Asian tsumani were, to use an overused term, simply awesome. And they continue to be.
For anyone seeking additional information on opportunities to provide flood aid, in addition to the ones I've recommended, see the round-up at Instapundit and Technorati and Hurricane Katrina.
Received word yesterday that a New Orleans friend made it out of the city and has taken refuge in Mississippi. Some authors' sites are tracking the whereabouts of our colleagues who live along the Gulf Coast. They are in my thoughts and prayers, as are all the thousands of nameless strangers I don't know and never will.
Katrina came to my house last night--yes, all the way up to New England--in the form of heavy downpours and gusty winds and terrible humidity. She didn't put on much of a show. It felt terrible, hearing the rain pounding, providing my garden with much-needed water, all the while knowing the devastation and heartbreak she left in her wake.