Homefront Emergency.com: -- The list of agencies helping with relief efforts is growing. Their no. 1 need? Money. But how will they be using your donations? Before donating serious amounts of money we suggest contacting organizations and ask them how your donations will help? For example: Some are directly involved with search and rescue efforts with specialized equipment and search dogs. Some organizations are involved with the immediate needs of victims such as first-aid and advanced medical teams. Some organizations specialize in providing food, water, clothing, shelter and sanitation, and some yet again are involved with the long term re-building of communities. You are entitled to ask for financial reports, and or activities reports from any organization who is non-profit or solicits for donations to support a cause.. Unfortunately, when disasters such as a devastating earthquake, hurricane or tornado there are many scams, and unsavory organizations that will gladly take your goodwill donations and unfortunately, it may never get to the disaster victims to whom you intended. Like many of us, you may want to make a donation to help the victims of a disaster. We recommend if you can please donate, if you are unsure about a charity, before you donate investigate.
The following resources provided by CNN include the highest-rated charities by CharityNavigator.org, an independent nonprofit organization that evaluates charity groups based on effectiveness and financial stability.
American Jewish World Service
The agency supports grass-roots, community-based organizations in remote locations whose needs are not always met by larger organizations. To donate, go to ajws.org/ or mail a check to 45 W. 36th St., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018. Make checks out to American Jewish World Service, and in the memo section write "Name of the Relief Fund you wish to donate to." You may also call 1-800-889-7146 or 212-792-2900. The group will use the funds for immediate needs, such as psychological and social support; health services and education on hygiene and disease prevention; mobilizing volunteers to help with rescue and aid distribution; , who can coordinate with the governments for greater support; in addition to long-term rebuilding plans.
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross' primary focus during the initial response of an emergency is food, shelter and meeting other basic needs. To donate: Go to RedCross.org, hit "donate now" button at top and then choose disaster fund you wish to donate to.
This nonprofit disaster relief organization delivers medicine, medical supplies and aid to people in crisis around the world. To donate, call 1-800-486-HELP or go to AmeriCares.org. Donations will go toward medicine and medical supplies and for expenses for providing that medical aid.
This humanitarian organization's focus is fighting global poverty, specifically by empowering women and girls. To donate to the a relief fund, go to Care.org or call 1-800-521-CARE. Money will go toward food, water and sanitation, shelter and emergency health response.
Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Relief Services is an aid agency that works with emergency relief, micro-finance, AIDS/HIV relief, agriculture, water and sanitation, among other projects in countries around the world. To donate, go to crs.org, or call 1-877-HELP-CRS. You can send a check to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090. Write "your desired fund you wish to donate to" in memo area. The money will go toward immediate needs, including water, food, hygiene kits, bedding and basic cooking utensils.
Clinton Bush Haiti Fund
Presidents Clinton and Bush teamed up to spearhead efforts to rebuild Haiti. To make a donation to the Clinton Bush Haiti fund, text "HAITI" to "90999," and $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross. To donate online, go toclintonbushhaitifund.org. Money will go to basic needs -- such as food, water, shelter, and first-aid supplies -- as well as long-term support.
The aid agency focuses on extreme poverty. It targets the root causes of poverty through programs in education, health, water needs, HIV/AIDS, microfinance and emergency responses. To donate, go to concernusa.org or call 212-557-8000. You can also mail a check or money order to Concern Worldwide U.S. Inc., 104 E. 40th St., Suite 903, New York, NY 10016. Indicate which disaster fund you wish to donate to. Money will go into a specific emergency fund you request, for supplying water, food, shelter, medical supplies and lasting reconstruction.
Direct Relief International
Direct Relief provides medical attention to those in need on an ongoing basis and in emergencies. Monetary donations go toward medical aid, supplies and equipment in. To donate, go to directrelief.org or call 805-964-4767 and 800-676-1638, or go through Google Checkout.
Episcopal Relief & Development
A humanitarian agency that helps communities rebuild after disasters and empowers people by offering lasting solutions that fight poverty and disease worldwide. To donate, go to er-d.org or mail a check to Episcopal Relief & Development, P.O. Box 7058 Merrifield, VA 22116-7058 and write "Which disaster fund you wish to donate to" on the memo line. To donate by phone, call 1-800-334-7626. This agency works with partners in affected areas to meet immediate needs such as food, water, shelter and medical care. It is also assessing needs and developing plans for a long-term recovery program.
Food For the Poor
The agency delivers food, medical supplies and other goods to the poor. To donate, go to foodforthepoor.org, or call 1-800-487-1158. For those living in South Florida, bring donated items to the Food for the Poor headquarters office at 6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073. The charity will accept canned fish, canned meat, canned milk, canned baby formula and bottled water. Monetary donations will go toward purchasing food and supplies as well as shipping costs.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity provides affordable, safe shelter for low-income families and people in need. To donate, go to habitat.org or call 1-800-Habitat.
International Medical Corps
This emergency response agency focuses on health in emergency situations. Monetary donations go toward purchasing medical supplies, medicine and emergency kits and transporting these supplies. Call 1-800-481-4462 or go to imcworldwide.org.
International Rescue Committee
The agency is a global network of first-responders, humanitarian relief workers, health care providers, educators, community leaders, activists and volunteers. To donate, go to theIRC.org, or call 1-877-REFUGEE. You can also mail a check to International Rescue Committee, 122 E. 42nd St., New York, NY 10168. Money will be used for repairing and supplying health clinics, providing clean water and sanitation, and implementing programs for traumatized children and youth; helping manage a database to register orphans and separated children and trace their relatives; and protecting women and girls who may be exposed to sexual violence.
International Relief Teams
The nonprofit organizes volunteer teams to provide medical and non-medical assistance to victims of disasters and poverty. To donate, go to irteams.org, or call 619-284-7979. Checks can be made out to International Relief Teams, 4560 Alvarado Canyon Road, Suite 2G, San Diego, CA 92120-4309. The money will be used for medical supplies, medicine and other relief supplies, and to support volunteers.
Love a Child
The Christian-based humanitarian relief agency focuses on giving aid to children and their families. To donate, go to loveachild.com, or call 1-800-645-4868. Monetary donations will be used for food, clothing, shelter, schools and medical needs, among other services.
Medical Teams International
The Christian global health organization sends volunteer medical teams and supplies to those in the midst of disaster or poverty. Monetary donations will go to supporting the medical teams and to the cost of shipping the medical supplies donated by corporations. Donate by going to medicalteams.org and clicking on the "Donate Now" button, call 1-800-959-HEAL (4325), or send a check to Medical Teams International, P.O. Box 10, Portland, OR 97207.
Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders)
The humanitarian organization delivers medical care to people caught in crisis. Donations will go toward repairing the obstetrics and trauma hospitals that are damaged. They also transport doctors and medical supplies in an effort to set up makeshift emergency medical response centers. To donate, go to doctorswithoutborders.org, or call 1-888-392-0392.
The organization provides humanitarian assistance and economic opportunities in the world's toughest places, specifically those dealing with poverty, conflict and instability. To donate, go to MercyCorps.org. Money will go toward immediate humanitarian needs, which may include food, water and temporary shelter.
The international relief agency provides funding for reconstruction and development aid to communities that have experienced disasters, disease and poverty. To donate, go to opusa.org, call 1-800-678-7255, or mail a check to Operation USA, 3617 Hayden Ave., Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.
Oxfam America works to fight poverty and injustice by helping people in struggling areas earn a living, teaching them to save money and offering disaster risk-protection programs. Money donated to Oxfam will go to water delivery and sanitation projects. To donate, visit OxfamAmerica.org, or call 1-800-77-Oxfam. If you would like to mail a check, send it to P.O. Box 1211, Albert Lea, MN 56007.
Partners In Health
The organization works to bring modern medical care to poor communities around the world. To donate, go to pih.org or, you can also mail a check to Partners in Health, P.O. Box 845578, Boston, MA 02284-5578; write "Name of the fund you wish to donate to" in memo line. If want to donate supplies, the agency is in need of orthopedic supplies, surgical consumables (sutures, bandages, non-powdered sterile gloves, syringes, etc.) and large unopened boxes of medications. Small quantities, unused personal medications or expired supplies will not be accepted. Please fill out a form on the Web site for supply donations. The agency also needs blankets, tents and satellite phones with minutes. People with private planes willing to fly medical personnel and/or large quantities of supplies are needed. For information, call 617-432-5256.
Project Hope responds to crises with medical supplies and medical volunteers, and it is committed to long-term sustainable health care. To donate, go to projecthope.org, or mail a check to 255 Carter Hall Lane, Millwood, VA 22646. Monetary donations will be used for shipments of medicine and medical supplies and for deployment of volunteer doctors and nurses.
The agency's sole purpose is to improve the health and well-being of people. To donate, go to ProjectMediShare.org, or you can send a check, cash or in-kind donation (including medicines and medical supplies) to Project MediShare, 8260 NE Second Ave., Miami, FL 33138. Money will go toward medical care and to send medical teams .
The nondenominational evangelical Christian organization works through local churches and partners. The aid agency provides spiritual and physical aid to the poor, sick and suffering. To donate, go to Samaritanspurse.org, or call 1-800-528-1980. To give by mail, send donations to Samaritan's Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607-3000. Money will go toward temporary shelter, water purification, hygiene kits, blankets, medicine and medical teams.
Save the Children
The independent organization focuses on children in need in the U.S. and globally through programs for health and nutrition, child protection and education. To donate, go to savethechildren.org, or call 1-800-728-3843 or 203-221-4030. Donations will go toward purchasing relief items, such as hygiene kits, family kits (pots, pans, food preparation items) and tarps.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army's mission is to provide food, shelter, clothing and spiritual comfort during disasters. To donate money, go to salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Make sure you designate your donation. Money will go to the Salvation Army, which will determine the immediate needs, including water, food, medicine and transportation.
The nonprofit delivers boxes of supplies to families of up to 10 people. The boxes contain a tent and essential equipment to use while individuals are displaced or homeless. To donate, call 941-907-6036, or go to shelterboxusa.org.
U.S. Fund for UNICEF
The national committee for UNICEF is responsible for the organization's fundraising. UNICEF uses the money for health care, clean water, nutrition, education and emergency relief. To donate, go to Unicefusa.org, or call 1-800-4-UNICEF.
The organization lifts people out of poverty, beginning with disaster response and ending when families can live sustainable lives. To donate to its relief effort, go to Worldconcern.org, or call 1-866-530-5433. You can also mail checks to 19303 Fremont Ave. North, Seattle, WA 98133. Please specify that the check is for which Disaster Response. Money will go toward water supplies, shelter, blankets, distribution of food and long-term needs, such as job training, education, loans and home construction.
World Food Program
The food assistance agency's main focus is to fight hunger worldwide. The organization is working to bring food to Haiti. To donate, go to wfp.org.
World Health Organization
The World Health medical distribution center gives out vaccines, medicines and other supplies that are going to systems like water sanitation, disease surveillance and hospital assessments. To donate call 202-974-3727.
The agency trains and educates communities to solve hunger, poverty and disease. To donate, go to wn.org or call 405-752-9700, or mail a check to World Neighbors, 4127 NW 122nd St., Oklahoma City, OK, 73120; write "Which disaster fund you wish to donate to" on the memo line. Monetary donations will be used to support short-term needs (i.e. food, water and supplies) and long-term development programs.
World Water Relief
The agency's main focus is bringing clean water to developing countries. To donate, go to worldwaterrelief.org, mail checks to 8343 Roswell Road, Suite 455 Atlanta, GA 30350-2810, or call 404-242-1601 or 214-500-9417.
This organization, founded by Wyclef Jean, creates projects to improve the quality of education, health, environment and community development. To donate, go to yele.org,