Help victims of Oklahoma tornado
Posted May 21, 2013
Updated June 18, 2013
Thanks to you, WRAL has targeted more than $100,000 in donations to help those affected in tornadoes across the Midwest.
The American Red Cross is providing food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters like the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma.
Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit RedCross.org or text* the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to donate $10 to the organization.
Salvation Army personnel from 10 states are providing food, drinks spiritual care and cleanup supplies to multiple communities in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas.
Designate your gift for Oklahoma and other Midwest locations online or text* "STORM" to 80888.
*Texting charges may be added to your cellphone bill.
Other ways to help
Text "FOOD" to 32333 or donate online 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.