One of the worst hurricanes to hit America’s shores has brought devastation and pain to an entire state. Families have been displaced, buildings destroyed and injuries and casualties are starting to make headlines. The shores of Texas are hurting right now. And, as a society, it is our duty to come together, help one another and to persevere through these dark times. We’ve done it before in the face of adversity, and yet we still manage to rise above. I am always in support of charitable efforts, and right now, I cannot think of a better time than to be your most charitable. There are dozens of ways to donate or volunteer your time and money to help the citizens of Texas, which I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so.
That being said, however, there are multiple thieves and miscreants who like to take advantage of situations such as these. They look for ways to steal money from kind-hearted people. And so, in an effort to avoid this, here are a few tips to ensuring that your donations are being sent to the proper organizations.
Beware Your Emails
One of the most popular ways that these fake charitable organizations make money is through fake emails. If your inbox is flooded with unsolicited emails requesting money and relief, do not read them. Do not click on any links or open any attachments. Don’t even open the email. It is more than likely a malicious website looking to install malware on your computer.
Instead, be proactive about the situation and visit the official site of a trusted charitable organization.
Do Some Research
If you are considering donating to a charity that you’ve never heard of, then it would be in your best interests to do a bit of background research into the organization. It’s amazing what a quick Google search can reveal. In addition to a Google search, you can also use sites like CharityWatch.org in order to determine the legitimacy of an organization.
This is a bit tougher for those of you who want to help, but are too far away to do so. But for those who live within a few hours of the affected area, one of the most secure ways to donate is by personally visiting the flooded areas and assisting shelters or in rescue efforts. Again, this is a bit harder to do for most of you, but thieves can’t steal your volunteered time.
The events unfolding in Texas are an absolute tragedy and we need to assist in any way that we can. But we must also stay vigilant so that others are not taken advantage of while trying to do the right thing.