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The first thing I thought when I saw New Orleans drowning was "what can I do to help these people who have lost everything?" Then I realized that I haven't got much disposable income to work with. So I got creative.
My office is having it's monthly hotdog sale next week. We usually use the money from those to pay for our Thanksgiving and Christmas luncheons. I suggested instead that we send all the proceeds from this sale to the hurricane relief effort. Then I commandeered my supervisor's luncheon donation jar and made it a "Katrina Relief" jar. I am also setting up a jar in my office which will be split between the Red Cross and the Louisiana SPCA. I work with a bunch of social workers, so I'm sure the jars will be filled soon.
My boyfriend and I have a cabinet full of canned and other non-perishable food...we haven't used any of it, so we're going to donate it all to the relief effort.
So even if you don't have a lot of money, you can still do something.
Here is a good resource for finding ways to help:
Network for Good