As many of you are aware, there is great need for aid in the wake of the December 26 tsunami which struck the shores of the Indian Ocean following an undersea earthquake which was measued at a 9.o on the Richter scale, the equivalent energy yield of 32 billion tons of TNT (that's a big ka-boom folks). Not only is the death toll increasing daily as bodies are found and washed ashore (at last count I saw over 160,000 deaths) but the onset of disease and a humanitarian catastrophe are occurring. Many of the areas affected are poor and remotely isolated from medical and other forms of aid. It has been 9 days since the tidal waves struck and bodies are still being identified and being crudely preserved using dry ice for identification. The remains of many will never be found. Those who suffered "crush injuries", such as being thrown up against walls or trees or crushed under heavy loads, are now beginning to die due to the onset of gangrene due to a lack of medical supplies. The initial reaction of many is to collect items needed in the areas that have been hit, that is not the best way in this case. Cahs donations to appropriate relief agencies are what are needed most. The rebuilding efforts in some of these places could take a decade or longer. Many organizations exist to which you can donate if you feel so inclined. Personally, I would avoid any donations filtered through the United Nations which has failed miserably in its aid programs as of late, but that is my personal opinion.
Google has assembled a list of some organizations accepting donations on the Google Tsunami Relief website
Another fine organization would be through Mission to the World an organization that I feel can due a great job reaching those they wish to aid and a group that is well suited to this task, though you won't hear or read it's name in most mainstream media reports.