OTHER THAN being a great communication tool and source of information, the Internet has also proved to be an effective lifeline in the wake of the horrifying terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11. Thanks to its extensive reach, Hong Kong people - living thousands of kilometres away - can support victims, their families and the communities affected by the atrocities. The Tribute to Heroes Web site ( www.tributetoheroes.org ) is the official homepage of the telethon which was held on September 21. The event, initiated by a group of artists and celebrities in the entertainment industry, aimed to bring American people and the international community together to raise funds for the victims and their families. If you missed the opportunity provided by the telethon, or you really want to do something for the people affected by the terrorist attacks, you can visit the Web site to make a donation. Online donations can also be made at the September 11th Fund Web site ( www.september11fund.org ). The site is affiliated to the September 11th Fund, which is a collaborative effort between United Way and New York Community Trust. Though the site has only been running for a short period of time, it has become one of the most popular donation channels among Americans. According to the fund's information centre, more than 12,000 online pledges, totalling more than US$1.4 million (HK$10.9 million), have been made via the site - an average of five to 10 pledges per minute as of September 14. The American Red Cross has also tapped into its resources to help the victims. The organisation has designed an online donation system on its Web site ( www.redcross.org ) to collect funds from all over the world. The site is regularly updated and you can check the latest breaking news about the responses to the attacks on the 'Daily News Digest'. You can also keep track of how the American Red Cross has responded in cities across the US by clicking the 'Cross the Country, the Red Cross Responds to September 11 Attacks' section. The section features an interactive map of the US to illustrate the progress of relief work in different cities. Besides giving financial assistance, if you want to do something for the victims, then click the World Vision (United States) Web site ( www.worldvision.org ). World Vision (United States) suggests three ways to help people affected during times of crisis. They are: ? Pray for the families and victims of the terrorist attacks, empowerment for rescue workers, and wisdom for the nation's leaders as they ponder how best to respond. ? Show support for the US and consider giving blood. ? Make donations to the American Families Assistance Fund or to other organisations which help people in their time of need.