I've sponsored a child through Compassion International for more than five years. For every contribution, more than 80% of the donation is given directly to the programs that need them most. And if you've sponsored a child, then that monthly contribution goes directly to that child. They help many children in third-world countries, feeding them, sending them to school, and they've even been able to help adults find work so that the children don't have to earn money for the family.
Whenever an earthquake or tsunami hits in a country where they work, they send aid, raise money for relief, and bring in extra food an medical supplies for the community. And if the child you sponsor lives in an affected area, they'll keep you posted on how that child and their family is doing throughout the process of recovering from the crisis.
More than that, Compassion has a great AIDS relief program. So please consider sponsoring a child for $38 a month, or at least give a small donation to help a community in need.
The website is compassion.com.