Well, they say that no good deed goes unpunished, and
My friend is not one to beg, he prides himself on being self-reliant, but things are tough, and he has agreed to let me ask my readers for help. This is a chance to give direct aid -- it isn't tax-deductible, it's not giving to an overarching charitable organization, but it is taking the bull by the horns and doing somehting to help someone. Hell, he helped me do the same for others 3 years ago, I have no problem asking for help for him now.
He says the most useful way of sending aid directly is through gift cards and gas cards. If any of you are interested, contact me in the comments or via email, and we'll talk.