First, I want to thank those of you who boosted the signal regarding my post about my friend Shayla and her financial struggle. I'm happy to report that she did in fact receive her student aid in time and while she's not out of the woods yet, things are much more stable for her than they were. Her FundRazr account is still active if you wish to contribute.
I also want to extend my condolences to everyone who lost someone dear to Hurricane Irene. I found out tonight that Katie, one of my youngest friends, lost her friend Celena in the resultant floods. Celena, who was only 20, drowned when her car was swept away in New Jersey. I know the hurricane was not nearly as bad as it probably could have been, thanks to early warnings and people taking evacuations seriously, but it was still bad and my sympathies go out to everyone who suffered any kind of loss.
I hope on Thursday to have some information about legitimate (key word!) ways you can help with the post-hurricane rebuilding. Sadly, after a tragic incident it's very common for fraudulent charities to emerge. So please don't give money to anything unless you know for sure that they're legitimate, like the Red Cross. If you have doubts about a donation drive, investigate the situation with Charity Navigator.
And if you're traveling through areas that were impacted by the hurricane, please be careful. Rivers and creeks are still swollen and there are still several areas without power.