- Don't give based solely on the charity's name.
Ask the charity how it will help and visit the charity's website. Watch out for charity names that include the name of the disaster - it could be a start-up group with little experience or a questionable effort seeking to gain confidence through its title or to capitalize on news coverage.
- Don't collect clothing or other goods without first verifying the items can reach the victims and can be used.
Unless you have verified that a charity is in need of specific items and has a distribution plan in place, sending non-essential items may be a wasted effort. Relief organizations often prefer to purchase goods near the location of the disaster to help speed delivery and avoid freight costs.
- Don't send to inexperienced relief efforts.
If the charity has not previously been involved in disaster their efforts will likely hamper assistance and divert funds from other helpful organizations.
- Don't respond to online and social media appeals without checking.
Don't assume that since a third-party blog, website or friend recommended a relief charity that it has been thoroughly vetted.
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