How to make sure you are not donating to a charity scam
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Many different disaster aid organizations and local charities are asking for volunteers and collecting supplies to help tornado victims in Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee. An EF-3 tornado ripped through the states over the weekend.
Officials with the Alabama Red Cross said it will be months before families are able to rebuild and they are going to need a lot of help. Red Cross officials said you need to double check and make sure your donations are actually going to make it to the right hands.
“You want to make sure that that donation is actually getting into the hands of people that need it,” Alabama Red Cross Spokesperson Annette Rowland said. “They are going to need ready to eat meals and water. The essentials that are going to help them get through the next couple of weeks.”
Families will eventually need donations of everything, but Rowland with the Red Cross said certain donations are priority right now.
“The best way to do it is financial donations,” she said. “Because, it helps the organizations on the ground meet the need.”
If you don’t want to donate just money, Rowland said clothes aren’t always the best items to give out. She said you should focus on donating clean up supplies, like work gloves and trash bags.
“It’ s important,” Rowland said. “But, it’s not the top of their priority list right now. The top of their priority list is going to be getting the tree off of their house, if it’s still standing.”
Rowland said just make sure the charity you are giving to is legitimate.
“I’d be leery of charities that are just going to pack up things and take items,” she said. “Because, there is a need for certain things in each community and each community may not be the same.”
Rowland said to find the trustworthy charities, all it takes is a little research.
“Charitynavigator.org is a great resource to look up a charity and see how they are allocating their funds,” Rowland said. “You can always check out United Way. United Way is always going to have partnership and they are going to know and tell you whether that is a charity they have affiliation with or they know the work that they do.”
If you don’t want to donate financially and you’re not sure if a local group is really going to deliver the items to those in need, Rowland said you can always donate blood.
Alabama is sending blood product as a part of the relief effort, but the state was already in a blood shortage, so the need for donors is stronger than ever.
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