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With so much widespread devastation our Country has seen in recent days, unfortunately, in the rush to provide aid, a number of scams emerged that exploit our altruistic urges.

Before you respond to the avalanche of appeals in every medium, you need to be careful. It is important to know where your aide is going. By using organizations like GiveWell, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or the Better Business Bureau, you can make sure you know your money is being used to help.

How do you avoid a scam? Here are some guidelines: 
*Verify the trustworthiness of soliciting relief organizations
*See if the charity has on-the-ground presence in the impacted areas
*Find out if the charity is providing directly or raising money for other groups – avoid the middle man and give directly
*Be cautious about gifts of clothing, food or other in-kind donations – sometimes this is more work and not the quickest way to help those in need
*Don’t feel pressured to give, simply tell the solicitor that you will call back after you’ve done your research


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