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Grisham and wife donate $5 million to Katrina victims

Best-selling writer John Grisham and his wife usually keep their charitable donations very private. But they've decided to disclose their $5 million contribution to establish a relief fund to help Mississippians rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

"In these very, very rare circumstances — this tragic time — we hope the gift will get some attention and inspire other people to contribute money and help our fellow Mississippians on the Gulf Coast," said Grisham, who maintains a home in Oxford, Miss.

The fund at BancorpSouth in Tupelo will be called the Rebuild the Coast Fund Organization.

Grisham, a former state legislator, said the fund will assist Mississippi residents and businesses. He said a staff will be hired to evaluate requests for help.

"When you make charitable contributions, you realize you can't save the world, so you find a small area you can go into and hopefully do some good and do it with your own money and your own sweat and you see the results," he said Friday. "You can't spread yourself too thin."