Update on Canadian Assistance
Please visit the Canadian Red Cross website to give. They will funnel your donation through the American Red Cross.
Canada is sending thousands of beds, blankets, surgical gloves and dressings and other medical supplies to the hurricane-ravaged U.S. Gulf Coast.
"This is the beginning of an integrated effort," Dr. Howard Njoo of the Public Health Agency of Canada said at a news conference on Sunday. "This is just a starting point of what we can give to our American friends."
The agency is sending the relief in response to an official request from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Njoo said within the next 24 hours, the supplies will be airlifted to a distribution centre in the southern U.S. and, from there, will be directed to the areas they're most needed. The supplies come from the stockpiles kept on hand by Canadian authorities to respond to disaster situations.
Other Canadian organizations are also sending help to the devastated region. Following a phone conversation with its American counterpart, the Canadian Red Cross has sent 37 volunteers to the region so far. Don Shropshire, the national director of disaster services of the Canadian Red Cross, said another several hundred volunteers are going to be sent down in the coming weeks and months.
"This is not an effort in which we need to sprint. It's going to be a long distance event," Shropshire said at the conference. "We have friends in trouble and we're doing what we can to help."
Shropshire said the American Red Cross has $25 million US in its emergency reserves but will likely need "more than $100 million" to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Shropshire said Canadians can help out with the relief effort by donating money.
Another way to give effectively is to donate to Catholic Charities USA.