Hurricane Harvey has gusted its last gale and dumped its last drop, but the suffering of its victims continues.  The stories and pictures we see every day in the media are heartbreaking.  Many, if not most, of us have family in the affected areas.  My sister-in-law's house was flooded near the Woodlands area of Houston.  My brother-in-law was trapped in Vidor, Texas, but luckily his house wasn't flooded.

You'd like to help, but with such a wide area of southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana affected, where do you start?

In an interview with the Louisiana Radio Network, Desiree Lemoine with the Greater Baton Rouge Red Cross said that the best way to help is to donate money. That's because with the Red Cross's connections they can buy in bulk.  So when you donate money, you are helping to buy relief items at lower prices which makes funds go farther. In addition, the logistics of moving actual items into areas that need them is an intricate process; one that the Red Cross knows well.

If you're worried that your money will be used for other Red Cross projects, or to pay the salaries of paid employees, Lemoine says that 91 cents of every dollar donated go directly to relief.  And you can specify where your money goes by writing "Harvey" in the memo line on your check; or if you're paying on-line, click on "Donate To Harvey Relief".

Another way to help is to become a Red Cross volunteer.  Red Cross volunteers go through extensive training, and there's a background check; so, if you're really serious about personally pitching in, this might be the way to go.