The news is just coming in about a mudslide on the Phillippines island of "Leyte" that appears to have killed almost everybody in a village of over 1700 people. Only a handful have been rescued as of this morning with 1718 still missing.
Unfortunately there's very little to do in a case like this in terms of "helping". Money and volunteers are not a key issue here. Contrast this with the Tsunami where the world rose to the occasion in spectacular form and donated enough funds to completely rebuild the devastated areas (this according to the Charlie Rose interveiew with the the UN guy in charge). However he noted in that interview that the Pakistan Earthquake, which potentially may affect comparable numbers of people, has only a fraction (I think he said 20%) of the relief money needed.
I think the single most profound contribution to humankind would/will be to find a way to successfully "market" and spread the word in a huge way the simple notion that raising the standard of living for the world's poor is 1) fun, educational, empowering and 2) in the best interest of even the most selfish rich person. Ironically it's becoming the wealthy and powerful who often articulate this case the best. Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Jerry Yang, David Filo, Pierre Omidyar are among the wealthiest and most influential voices of the American business elite and they'd all agree.
Unfortunately most mainstream media is now mired in the commercialization and monetization of the news and is no longer a friend to clear thinkers, preferring to discuss Scott Peterson's case more than the fact that thousands die *daily* from easily preventable diseases. Major networks largely ignore much of this incredible story - a story which may lead to the most dramatic changes ever seen by humankind as globalization and human rights start to shine in even the darkest corners of a challenged world.