As the nation works together to help Hurricane victims in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union is working with the National Credit Union Foundation and Carolinas Credit Union Foundation to provide additional support to those in need.
How You Can Contribute
Donations are also being accepted through Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that mobilizes staff and equipment and enlists thousands of volunteers to provide emergency aid to victims of tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters in the United States. They also dedicate time and resources after the initial response to assist in efforts to rebuild homes and communities for those in need. Click here to learn more about this organization and make a donation.
Member Education of Donations: Know Before You Give
Before giving money to any organization, do your research. With so many outreach efforts underway, there are also opportunities for scammers to take advantage of your generosity. Charity Navigator is a great resource to begin your research. Through their extensive database, worthy charities have been identified and a list of reputable organizations responding to storm victims has been provided. The Internal Revenue Service provides a search tool that indicates if an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. This can also aid in your research.
“Be wary of charities that spring up too suddenly in response to current events and natural disasters,” the F.T.C. website says. “Even if they are legitimate, they probably don’t have the infrastructure to get the donations to the affected area or people.”
GoFundMe, the source of many new fundraisers that popped up after Harvey, offers a way for donors and campaign organizers to communicate directly. Bobby Whithorne, a spokesman for GoFundMe, said in an email that if a specific campaign is raising questions, “report the campaign directly to GoFundMe by clicking ‘Report Campaign’ on the GoFundMe campaign page or, report your concerns to the state Consumer Protection Hotline.”
Click here for more information.