I notice a lot of people on some of the forums I frequent asking who is the best to donate money through for aid to the people affected by the tsunami tragedy in Asia.
Many people seem to be wary of religious based charities, or charities that seem to be overly political – and have become a bit jaded by the whole thing.
My suggestion (which seems to have struck a chord with people) – is to consider someone like Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) … they are strongly non-political and their missions are usually purely medical / sanitation / health logistics based.
They shun government support to ensure they are not seen to be compromised by or seen to be acting for various governments – giving them significantly more freedom to get to locations that many other aid organisations simply can’t go.
They have had people on the ground helping out wherever they can since the very beginning – and unlike many other government backed teams being sent, MSF tend to work alongside the locals, helping them rather than doing stuff all on their own.
They are a worthy cause, and do fantastic work in often very trying circumstances. I personally donate to them on a monthly basis, with additional amounts occasionally for special projects.