Looking to help the French? Options are limited for now

Atlantans who want to help Parisians in the aftermath of Friday’s ISIS terrorist attack can do so, but in limited ways.

Many traditional U.S. aid organizations, such as the American Red Cross, are not accepting direct donations to the Paris relief effort at this time.

On Friday in the moments after the massacre of at least 129 people, the American Red Cross issued a statement after receiving a flood of inquiries from people wanting to help.

“We understand that people around the United States want to help and we appreciate that nationwide show of support,” the statement said. “The American Red Cross is not seeking donations to support this tragedy at this time. As with the rest of the global community, we will stand by to do whatever we can to support those affected.”

The hashtag #StrandedInUS quickly sprang up over the weekend as Americans used it to offer their homes to Parisians who could not immediately fly home because of canceled flights. It's unclear how many Atlantans took in the stranded, though #StrandedinUS atlantawas trending on Twitter over the weekend.

Several aid organizations such as Secures Popular Francais, Solidarities International, Les Restaurants du Coeur and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are accepting donations, but that money goes toward general relief efforts. As of Sunday, none of them had set up contribution channels specifically for aid efforts related to the Paris massacre. While some websites have English translations, others are in French.

One charity, Friends of Fondation de France, based in New York, raises money for its partner entity, Fondation de France. The Fondation supports hospitals, social services, education and culture organizations. People can earmark a donation on the Friends of Fondation de France website, though it's unclear whether the organization has set up a fund for families of the dead and wounded in Paris.

According to the American Red Cross, the French Red Cross had deployed at least 300 volunteers to help in the hours after the tragedy unfolded. Those volunteers were "supporting first responders, providing first aid and working in close coordination with officials to determine how they can best help the community and emergency workers as the situation continues to evolve," the American Red Cross said in a statement.

Aid organizations such as CARE International and the international Red Cross and some French charities, ironically, have been seeking donations to provide aid to Syrian refugees, fleeing war and famine in their home country. French officials said over the weekend that at least one of the suicide bombers had a Syrian passport and had crossed into Europe last month with the unending tide of Syrian refugees entering Europe.