In the wake of disaster, media can greatly assist relief efforts by letting the public know that the most effective way to help is to make cash donations to organizations you already know.

Here are some reasons why cash donations to known organizations are more efficient and effective than donations of material goods:

Cash donations provide flexibility to help victims of disasters in situations that may be changing rapidly.

Cash donations minimize problems involved in transportation, delivery and storage. This is especially important for areas where bridges, roads, warehouses and other infrastructure have been destroyed.

Cash donations keep relief workers focused on their work with survivors, instead of diverting their efforts to sorting, storing, tracking and distributing goods.

People in foreign nations may have cultures that are very different from ours, so it is important for relief workers to provide food, clothing and other materials that are culturally acceptable. Cash donations make that process easier.

People wishing to make donations can find out more information on contacting the charitable organization of their choice by checking two websites:

Member associations of the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster for Texas can be reached at www.texasvoad.org.

The National VOAD site is www.nvoad.org.