What you can do to help save the gulf

There is an undeniable urge in my heart to run to the shores of Louisiana and cry.
But that will not help.
The tragedy of the oil spill will echo on for decades if not longer, unless we all do something to help. Pointing fingers and screaming will not get it done. This is larger than one company, or one country. This is potentially fatal kiss to the ecosystem in the gulf unless action is taken on a scale no one has ever seen before.
You may feel helpless, at odds and desperate in what you can do from your couch so very far away, but there is something you can do right now. Donate money, time, ideas and any help you can give, and we will all be better for it. There is an etsy shopEtsy Shop that will donate all of the proceeds to help the gulf coast recover from the massive BP oil spill. Etsy sellers have donated their items so that 100% of the proceeds can be given to charity.

If you are a hair salon or groomer, donations of hair are greatly appreciated to make the booms, that protect the shores that have yet to be struck by the oil.
You can visit http://www.matteroftrust.org/programs/hairfaq.html
for more info on hair booms.

An oil soaked hair boom protects a beach, not yet infiltrated by oil.

Through a partnership with Hopevote and Amazon, you can help provide relief from this environmental disaster, and it won’t cost you a cent. Now through July 31, 2010, your purchases at Amazon made through the Hopevote website will benefit the National Wildlife Federation and the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund. For every purchase made, 1.5 to 3 percent of your total will be donated to help wildlife affected by the Gulf oil spill. To participate in HopeVote, shoppers simply navigate to http://www.hopevote.com, where a special link takes them to the familiar Amazon.com storefront. Any purchases they make after following this link will count towards the fundraiser benefiting the Gulf Coast.
If you live on the gulf and see animals that actually need help, there is a hotline.866-557-1401.
Here are some more ways that I found on the Huffington Post website, who credited CrisisWiki for the initial posting of this info.
Thanks to CrisisWiki for their diligence in compiling much of this information.

Volunteer and Cleanup Actions

•The National Wildlife Federation has set up mobile giving services to support their work in the Gulf Coast.
Donors can send a text message with the code “WILDLIFE” to 20222 to automatically give a $10 donation to help wildlife affected by the oil spill.

•Oxfam America is working to help affected communities with financial assistance, as well as protect local wetlands and marshes.
Make a tax-deductible donation to Oxfam America.

Volunteer directly through the city of Biloxi, Miss. As volunteer activities become available, city officials will directly contact you. (If you’re in the area, let them know if you have a boat or can house volunteers.)

•You can register through OilSpillVolunteers.com to volunteer or join a cleanup organization.
•The BP Volunteer Hotline has set up numbers if you need to report injured wildlife or damage related to the spill. You can also request volunteer information at 866-448-5816.

•Global Green plans to spend the coming months working to protect injured wildlife and to lobby Congress to enforce tougher regulations on the oil and coal industries. Volunteer with Global Green or donate to support these efforts.

Olivia Bouler is making a difference
Olivia Bouler is making a difference

•The National Audubon Society is asking concerned citizens to donate or volunteer. Sign up to get trained and volunteer to help local birds.

CrisisCamp set up a conference call for Friday afternoon — follow the notes of this meeting, containing volunteer information with nonprofits and information from government organizations. You can also follow the CrisisCamp oil spill Twitter list for updates.

•Mobile Baykeeper, and affiliate of Waterkeeper Alliance, is dedicating resources to educate potential volunteers on how to help and address the long term environmental change needed in the Gulf region. Make a donation to these efforts.

The International Bird Rescue Research Center is coordinating a professional rescue team to help birds covered in oil. You can help by reporting wildlife affected by the oil spill to the organization by calling 866-557-1401. You can also make a donation to support their work.

•The Sierra Club is gathering volunteers to help with the cleanup efforts on the Gulf Coast. Sign up online to volunteer and the Sierra Club will help you find the right opportunities for you.

The Coalition To Restore Coastal Louisiana is also helping to coordinate volunteers. You can register online to volunteer or make a donation.

So with all of this, you can buy something from your home, that you already need, and a portion of it will go to help, or you can give a bit of yourself by donating some hair, or really get involved. The choice is yours to make, but know that every bit helps. Hope all of this helps you find a way to give the gulf a hand, even from far away.