Sam Harris said:
"Our reputation abroad as rapacious dealers of death is unjustified. But our government has done nothing to rehabilitate our image in the eyes of a world that has increasingly grown to fear and to hate us. If our government is incapable of winning a war of ideas with the developing world, we must do so as private citizens. Sending immediate and sufficient aid to the millions now suffering the capricious horror of Nature is, of course, the right thing to do. But it is also the smart thing to do, the wisely selfish thing to do. As private citizens, we should consider it a national act of self-preservation to donate to the many aid organizations now serving in the countries hardest hit by this tsunami. The Red Cross, UNICEF, Doctors without Borders—they need our help, and (as important) we need theirs.
Give till it hurts."
Excellent points by Sam however I have a little different pespective. No amount of individal contributions will serve as a substitute for govenment leadership in humanitanian aid.
Here is who we are as a people as defined by U.S. spending:
War in Iraq - 800 billion and climbing
Aid to Hurricane victims in Florida - 13 Billion
Tsunami aid - 35 million - 0.3% of the Florida aid
Demanding that your govenment get a perspective on the problem and act appropriately will do more practical good than any individaul contribution.