How You Can Help Those Affected by Recent Storms
When a national disaster strikes, the best of humanity comes out, and we are ready to set aside our differences and lend a helping hand. Unfortunately, people are also victimized by scammers who take advantage of their good nature. If you want to help those affected by the recent storms, there are ways you can safely do so without falling prey to the criminal element.
1. Donate to Known Organizations
Following the storms, known organizations began to take donations specifically for victims. Organizations like The American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the United Way established easy ways for people to donate money for disaster relief. Donating to these charities is safe and effective. If in doubt, check sites like Charity Navigator to make sure the group you’re donating to is a trusted one.
2. Look Online
Organizations don’t have to be brick-and-mortar to be verifiable and effective. Organizations such as GoFundMe, YouCaring and Airbnb have all established campaigns for disaster relief that will benefit those affected by Harvey and Irma. GoFundMe, for example, has put all of the campaigns related to these storms on their own pages, making it easy for donors to choose where to send their money.
3. Get Specific
It may take a bit of research on your part, but you may want to choose to narrow your scope of assistance. For instance, if you are a teacher, you may want to adopt a classroom that has been affected by one of the storms. If you are an animal lover, you may want to donate money or supplies to an animal shelter aiding pets affected by the storms. There are several agencies and organizations that will accept donations directly.
4. Avoid Being Scammed
It’s understandable that anyone would be worried about sending money that never gets to its intended recipients. You can avoid being scammed by being diligent. If you are donating online, only do so through an organization you have heard of or is otherwise highly reputable. Avoid donating to any organization or through any website that seems to have popped up out of nowhere.
Visit the Internal Revenue Service and search for charitable organizations that remain eligible to receive tax-deductible donations. You can also visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for advice on avoiding becoming a victim. The website points out that even though newer charities may be legitimate, they may not have the means to get your donations where they are intended to go.
No one wants to become the victim of a scam. If you want to aid in the relief efforts for those who have been affected by the recent hurricanes, do so with the above tips in mind. You may also choose to donate as you shop. Several store chains are accepting donations at checkout, making providing funds to those who need it an easy thing to do.
You can also get out after the storms and physically help rebuild your community. Unfortunately, your actions could accidentally lead to committing a crime, even unintentionally. If you are arrested for a crime in DeKalb County while trying to aid victims of the storms, you need an experienced defense team by your side. Reach out to our office today to schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation and learn more about your legal rights.