I've never met Shane, but I know he *is* a real person--I've read his blogs. He is not faceless--there are pictures on his blogs. Pictures cannot be faked. He has put up link to donate directly to him to help him and his son. I'm sure this is not an easy thing to do--when you've taken care of yourself most of you life it's hard to imagine there would ever be a circumstance where you might need to ask others for cash.
I don't necessarily like giving to big orgs. I was involved with Americorps for a time, and I know exactly how mis-managed big orgs can be.
Because I know exactly where my donation is going, I will give something to Shane and Sebastian. Take the time to read his blog--go in and check out other things he's done.....maybe helping him out is something you, too, might want to do.
And even though I hate big orgs, I'm thinking of volunteering with the Red Cross. They need roughly 40 000 volunteers, as the volunteers who have been there are hitting their max amount of field time and will need to be relieved. Since I'm not doing much more than finishing up an article, I could easily do the training and take off for three weeks. We'll see if they'll take me.