First it was Hurricane Harvey in Texas, then Hurricane Irma in Florida, wreaking havoc on our country and pulling heartstrings across the country, while those not directly affected scoured the news reports hoping for the best. I too felt a knot in my stomach watching people battling the storms, trying to save others, and felt tears rising as heroic efforts were made to save people and animals alike. It didn’t matter that I was safely across the country, I still felt a personal loss and wanted to do something from the safety of my warm, dry home. Many reputable companies stepped forward, offering quick and easy ways to make a donation, large or small. I listened on the radio every morning on my way to work and my heart was warmed by the stories of people donating what they could to help.
Unfortunately, there are vile, despicable scammers out there who don’t care about anything but stealing your hard earned money before it reaches the intended recipient.
The Federal Trade Commission posted information to warn the kind people who may be taken advantage of in these emotional situations:
- Make your hurricane donations count is a great post hosted by the FTC Consumer Information blog. I highly recommend consumers visit here before making donations to any advertised cause.
- How to verify a hurricane relief charity is a great interactive site that features a list of websites that you can use to find a reputable charity. It also has a search engine where you can type in the name of the charity to verify its legitimacy.
- Always report any scams you discover to ftc.gov/complaint
Be sure to get a receipt for any donation you make that includes the tax identification number of the non-profit. If you receive any merchandise or other compensation, it is not tax deductible.
The IRS has a searchable data base for organizations eligible to receive tax deductible donations.
Enough serious stuff, back to the cute chicken pics!