Helping Oklahoma tornado victims while avoiding scams
MILWAUKEE - When a disaster happens such as the recent tornadoes in the heartland, many people want to help.
What is the best way to help those affected at this time?
When a disaster of this magnitude occurs, many people want to rush to the area with supplies or to offer hands on efforts.
However, even though this may be needed later, right now, the best way to help is by donating money to American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and other well known organizations that are experienced in disaster relief efforts.
It takes time to get the area safely cleared and ready for donated items and volunteers.
Even if you wanted to donate items, there is no way to store and distribute these just yet.
Disaster relief organizations do an excellent job of getting things into place, but these relief efforts are expensive and these organizations could really use our financial support at this time.
What is the fastest and most convenient way to get these funds to these organizations?
Text a $10 donation to these organizations from your cell phone or make a donation online by going directly to their website or calling.
- American Red Cross - www.redcross.org / 1-800-733-2767
To make a $10 donation (billed to cell phone) Text REDCROSS to 90999
- Salvation Army - www.salvationarmyusa.org / 1-800-725-2769
To make a $10 donation (billed to cell phone) Text STORM to 80888
- Feed The Children - www.feedthechildren.org/disaster / 1-800-627-4556
What kind of precautions should people take if they plan to donate online or in other ways?
There will be a number of good, well intentioned groups collecting money and donations to help those in need, but before you donate, make sure that you check things out.
Be particularly careful of telemarketers that ask for banking or personal information over the phone, phony websites that may look like a charity, but do not end in .org, and e-mails with odd attachments or suspicious looking links.
If you are unsure, err on the side of caution and check things out by contacting the charity at a phone number listed in your local phone book.