SFist Cares tries to focus on local issues and local charities. But when there are more than 44,000 people dead, thousands more missing, and millions homeless that's something that affects us not as San Franciscans, but as humans. So forgive us this once for going beyond our own borders and our own needy and asking you to help these people around the other side of the globe.

Most major governments have pledged to send money and resources. Many international relief agencies will be going to south Asia to help with rescue, relief and rebuilding efforts. The simplest way to help is to send money. Unless you have special skills or own a blanket factory, donations of time or goods won't help this time. This is anticipated to be the largest relief operation ever.

There are many aid agencies you can donate to, so if you have a trusted favourite please feel free to go to them. If not, we can confidently say that the Red Cross will be there doing good work:

American Red Cross - the International Response Fund is the one you want to select to send your money towards this effort. But, frankly, the Red Cross is going to do good things with any money you send them to any effort.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is co-ordinating on a more international level.

The Wikipedia entry on this event is one of the best, most comprehensive summaries we've found if you are looking for more information. It includes a substantial list of links to donation sites.

We'll be back on Thursday with our regular column.