We all have seen the tragedy that has taken place on the gulf coast of the USA caused by Hurricane Katrina. The pictures that we are seeing are horrifying, tragic, and overwhelming. It truly makes one think how precious life truly is. As stated by the White House, over 90 000 SQUARE MILES is affected by this disaster! In response to this disaster, all charitable organizations are organizing the largest mobilization of resources for one single US natural disaster in the history of the US.As we sit in our home that is not threatened, enjoy our meals with our families and be able to tuck our children into their safe bed at night, we need to stop and think of those hundreds of thousands of people that are not able to do this and may not be able to for months to come. These people can not even get access to the basic necessities in order to survive.
This true desperation we are seeing, is what will spur us into action to help those that are in need. How can we see these pictures, stories and videos of our fellow citizens suffering and not take action?.With the onslaught of this natural disaster left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we must realize this is also a time for dishonest people who pray on these charitable feelings of those wanting to help. We all need to help in one way or another BUT please safeguard how you help and make sure your hard earned dollars are put in the right hands to help the people that are in need.Just in the last few days, we are seeing many people "saying" they are collecting donations and will forward it on to the appropriate charities. We are seeing people making calls saying they are collecting on behalf of The Red Cross, and other charities.
We are seeing People knocking on doors asking for donations. Because we feel the pain of the citizens of these affected cities, we want to help and we dig deep to do so. But we take for granted that these calls we are receiving are from the said charities. We take for granted that the emails we receive are honest and true. We take for granted that all people want to help and we forget that disasters like this also bring out the dishonest people as well.There are many things you can do to protect your donation and ensure it goes to the right place.
Here are a few things to look for when donating:.1) Charitable organizations like the Red Cross, Salvation Army do not email, knock on doors OR phone people for donations. If you have received a phone call, a knock on your door or an email solicitation for a charitable organization for this disaster relief, the chances are it is not reputable.
2) If you receive a phone call, get information on the charity. Ask for their 1-800 number for making donations or the website. NEVER give your personal information on the phone when you have received a phone call soliciting a donation.3) If you receive an email regarding any disaster, never open attached files, which often pose as photos of the disaster but could actually be worms or spyware that will infect your computer.
Never respond to the email with personal information such as Name, credit card information etc.4) Do not donate cash. Always write a personal Check and write it to the Charitable organization and not to the person collecting on their behalf.5) Get a receipt for your donation that has the charities name on it. This can be used for a Tax deduction.
6) If you receive a request to purchase a product and some of the proceeds will go to certain charity, you need to think if you wish to support this company or not. Many of these companies are wanting to help the disaster relief, but how will you know that the money collected will actually go to the charities or to the ones in need? Is the company respected, is there a member of the company affected by the disaster? Can you confirm this? Does the company have a good standing with their customers? Are they a long-term company? Confirm and research what you can before you choose to make a donation. TO make a donation, you are not required to purchase a product.
If you want to give, go directly to the Charity itself and donate. If you know that the company is true and is working to help their fellow employees and such, then support them!.6) Research any donation you want to make and make sure the company and/or chartable organization you are donating or purchasing from are legit and not just filling their pockets.If you think you may have been the victim of a scam charity, call or log onto the FTC Web site at www.ftc.
gov or contact your local Better Business Bureau or police department.The United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has compiled a list of reputable voluntary organizations that urgently need cash donations to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina in Gulf Coast states. http://www.fema.
gov/news/newsrelease_print.fema?id=18473.Below are other websites with key information on Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief and Recovery:.Hurricane Katrina Official Government Website http://www.
firstgov.gov/Citizen/Topics/PublicSafety/Hurricane_Katrina_Recovery.shtml.National Next of Kin Registry http://www.nokr.org/.
Alabama Hospital Association (patient locator) http://www.alaha.org/hurricane.
html.Find Hurricane Survivors Read & post messages to loved ones http://www.SunHerald.com.This is not written to deter you from donating.
The private donations that are made WILL help and are DESPERATELY needed. Even if you can only donate $1! It is $1 more towards the target donations that is needed to help provide food, water, shelter and medical attention to those affected by this disaster. The scope of this disaster is enormous.
We all need to help in one way or another.By making a donation today you are helping those in need. If we all do our part to help our fellow man, the suffering will end sooner, the smiles will return to their faces and the rebuilding of their lives can begin.It all starts with a helping hand.
.About The Author
Val Burnett is Owner of many responsive marketing programs found at http://www.
mbpadvertising.com Plus publisher of MBP BizMajic News 38,000 Subscribers http://news.mbpadvertising.com. "Our business IS our Customers".Article Source: http://EzineArticles.
By: Val Burnett