The North Carolina Baptist Men are sending three teams with heavy equipment to Moore, Okla., to help with the cleanup from the tornado that damaged tens of thousands of structures there Monday and claimed 24 lives.
A team from Fayetteville was expected to leave Thursday and arrive in Oklahoma by the weekend.
“All team members have heavy equipment and disaster experience and will be able to assist however they are needed,” said Gaylon Moss, relief director for the group.
The North Carolina-based Samaritan's Purse arrived Wednesday with mobile kitchens to help feed the flood of volunteers.
"North Carolinians are so generous, beyond what I can describe," said Karina Petersen with pride. She is one of more than a dozen from the Tar Heel state who left their lives to help out in Oklahoma and will stay as long as they are needed.
How you can help
The American Red Cross is providing food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters like the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas.
You can designate a donation to help with its response to the deadly tornado that ravaged Moore, Okla. Monday, May 20, 2013.
Call 1-800-RED-CROSS, visit RedCross.org or text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to donate $10 to the organization. The charge will be added to your next cellphone bill.
To assist the Salvation Army, text "STORM" to 8088.
Other ways to give:
Text "FOOD" to 32333 for donations to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
Avoid charity scams
A note from Monica: It’s hard to accept but the truth is while disasters tend to bring out the best in many people, they also bring out the worst in scammers! Here's what to watch out for, from Attorney General Roy Cooper.
- Watch out for pushy telemarketers. Telemarketers that refuse to answer your questions, offer to pick up your donation or pressure you are usually up to no good. Also, some telemarketers keep up to 90 percent of the money they collect for charities. Your money will go further if you give directly to the real charity, not to hired fundraisers.
- Don’t respond to unsolicited emails and text messages asking you to give. Even if the message looks legitimate, it could be an example of phishing. The messages may include links to copycat web sites of legitimate charities to try to trick donors.
- Be careful of social networking posts asking you to donate. The cause may sound worthy, but you have no way of verifying how your money would really be used.
- Watch out for fake charities that sound real. Some scammers use names that are very close to the names of real charities, non-profits or even law enforcement agencies. If you want to donate, contact the real charity or organization at a website or phone number you know to be valid.
- Don’t give cash. Cash gifts can be lost or stolen. For security and tax record purposes, it’s best to pay by credit card. If you pay by check, make it out to the charity itself, not the fundraiser.
- Protect your personal information. Never give your credit card or bank account number to someone you don’t know who contacts you, for any reason.
- Say no to high-pressure appeals. Legitimate fundraisers won’t push you to give on the spot.
- If you want to give to charity, do your homework first. Visit www.give.org to see if national charities meet the standards set by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, and www.charitywatch.org for ratings of charities by the American Institute of Philanthropy. Other good sources of information are the Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator or GuideStar.