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Doing your part

Three weeks after Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Coast, Mississippians remain in great need of aid and assistance — and they will for some time.

Fortunately, the response to this unprecedented natural disaster has been amazing. This outpouring of support must continue, and if anything, grow in reach and intensity. Conditions on the Coast and in South Mississippi will take tremendous amounts of time, talent and resources to fix and heal.

So, what can you do (or keep doing) to help? Donations of needed supplies have been staggering. However, perhaps the greatest need organizations have for their relief and recovery operations is cash. It’s quick and easy to give, and charities can use it to get what is really needed on the ground in the devastated areas as quickly as possible.

Of course, be careful. Within days (and likely hours) of the storm’s impact, scams and fake Web sites soliciting donations popped up. Many of the sites are being used to create false donation foundations to gain money or capture user names and passwords.

“Mississippians need to be especially generous now, but we need to give wisely,” Secretary of State Eric Clark said. “The bottom line is give to people you know.”

That’s good advice in a time of great need.

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