Here are some of the local efforts to help victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Ride On Food Donation Program

Ride On will is sponsoring a food donation program through Saturday for victims of Hurricane Katrina. In exchange for a nonperishable food item, bus passengers in Montgomery County can ride free. Food collection bags will be placed near fare boxes on all Ride On buses.

Residents can also drop off nonperishable food at one of the county's five regional service centers or at the Commuter Express store in Silver Spring through 5 p.m. tomorrow. Visit for more information.

Bloodmobile in Germantown The Red Cross Bloodmobile will be at the Gaithersburg Street Festival from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the corner of Summit and Olde Towne avenues in an effort to replenish supplies affected by Hurricane Katrina. The event is sponsored by the Red Cross, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and the City of Gaithersburg.

Benefit Concert at St. Mark Church St. Mark Presbyterian Church will hold a Hurricane Katrina benefit concert, featuring folk musician John McCutcheon, at 8 p.m. on Sept. 23. $15 in advance, $18 at the door. 10701 Old Georgetown Rd., Rockville. 301-530-1735 or

Project Backpack Gathers Over 7,000

More than 7,000 backpacks were packed into boxes Saturday at Walt Whitman High School to be donated to children displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The donations were part of a grass-roots effort known as Project Backpack, started by the children in a Bethesda family.

The backpacks were filled with children's items such as crayons, dry food, school supplies, books, small toys and drawing materials and were sent by United Parcel Service to distribution sites in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Some also were sent to evacuees at the D.C. Armory.

Project Backpack has recently expanded to other states. To learn more, visit

Shelters Pitch In With Car Wash

Residents of two Rockville homeless shelters, Jefferson House and Chase Partnerships, organized car washes on Saturday and sent a portion of the profits to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Chase Partnerships provides lodging and treatment to 36 homeless men in Montgomery County. Jefferson House provides permanent housing to formerly homeless men who have completed an addiction treatment program.

Great Strides, a nonprofit agency in Damascus that offers therapy through interaction with horses, collected donations of money and hay to be flown to help horses that were stranded by Hurricane Katrina. To donate, call 301-253-1166 or visit

Moose Lodge Hosts Benefit Barbecues

Silver Spring Moose Lodge 658 held a Hurricane Katrina charity barbecue last weekend. Donations included 556 cases of water, 188 cases of food and 150 cases of personal hygiene items. Diapers, clothing and cleaning supplies were collected and sent to Moose lodges in Louisiana.

In conjunction with the Washington Animal Rescue League, the lodge collected vanloads of pet food on Monday, which were sent to Louisiana.

The lodge will hold other barbecues, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 926 Wayne Ave., Silver Spring.

Donations also will be accepted from 9 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday.

Shoes Collected for Shipment South

New Orleans-native Remi Bauer of Gaithersburg organized a "Walking With the Needy" shoe drive last weekend that brought in 2,260 pairs of new shoes and other provisions that will be sent to the Diocese of Little Rock in Arkansas.

The city of Gaithersburg lent Bauer and other volunteers a city-owned vacant space on East Diamond Avenue to collect and sort the shoes. Boy Scout Troop 1097 of Gaithersburg helped publicize the event. Moyer & Sons, a local moving company, provided trucks that will be used to ship the shoes to Arkansas.

"We wanted to let [storm victims] know that they were not alone," Bauer said.

Cappies Fundraiser for Katrina Survivors

The Critics and Awards Program, known as Cappies, will sponsor a fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Katrina featuring high school theater performers from Montgomery County and around the Washington metropolitan area, at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at Hayfield Secondary School in Fairfax County. Proceeds will benefit hurricane-displaced families that will settle in the Washington area. 7630 Telegraph Rd., Alexandria. $25 for students, $50 for adults. 703-924-4759.

State Fund for Displaced Students

The Maryland State Department of Education has established the "Katrina's Kids Education Fund" to help to pay for the schooling of students displaced by Hurricane Katrina. To donate, call 410-767-0011 or e-mail Katrina.Relief@

-- Compiled by ARUNA JAIN

Students at Walt Whitman High in Bethesda stack boxes holding some of the more than 7,000 backpacks donated for displaced kids.Maya Herm sorts backpacks at Whitman High. The donations were part of an effort started by a Bethesda family.Wynton Marsalis, a New Orleans native, was the headliner last week at the Silver Spring Jazz Festival, which was dedicated to the hurricane relief effort. Volunteers made collections during the event.