Do you consider yourself someone who wants to help unfortunate people in need? You are not alone. Furthermore, you are a very valuable commodity. Religious organizations all over the country, galvanized by recent developments worldwide and natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti, are organizing as much aid as they possibly can. Even if you cannot volunteer your time, you may be able to provide valuable assistance with donations of food, money and clothing.
If you doubt that donating to a sprawling bureaucracy like the American Red Cross is your best option, take just a moment to consider how effective a local religious organization can be. Many local religious groups are tireless distributors of aid, support, and service to the needy and tragedy stricken citizens of your community and the world. And volunteering or donating to a local religious organization is simpler, easier, and may be more effective than writing a check to an agency that spends a lot of money on overhead and administrative costs.
Often, religious organizations are more directly linked with their communities and can deliver aid directly to those who need it, without mediators in between. Hurricane Katrina was a good example, as local southern churches were much faster and more effective in delivering aid than FEMA.
Your help, be it with personal volunteer work or a financial donation, can make a very real difference in the life of an individual or family who has fallen on hard times. Next time you feel like giving back to your community, why not look up your preferred local religious organization and take the next step by offering them your help.