How to Help: Nepal earthquake relief efforts
Posted April 27, 2015
Updated April 29, 2015
The Nepal Red Cross is providing first aid, search and rescue, blood to medical facilities in the capital and support to first responders. The Red Cross has approximately 19,000 non-food relief kits available in Nepal which include clothing, kitchen sets, tarpaulins, mosquito nets, and personal hygiene items. To give to the Red Cross relief effort, visit the nonprofit’s website.
The International Committee of the Red Cross offers an online locator so that families can communicate. To register a name of someone missing in the quake or to check a list of those who have registered their safety in the earthquake zone, visit Nepal Earthquake Restoring Family Links.
AT&T is offering customers in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands free text messages and international long distance to Nepal from April 25, 2015 through May 16, 2015.
AmeriCares, which provides disaster relief and humanitarian aid, uses local providers in Nepal to distribute medicines, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid for families in crisis, and to help survivors rebuild their lives. Find out how to donate on the group's website.
Save the Children is delivering tarpaulins in Kathmandu, while in the earthquake-affected Bhaktapur district, 180 baby packs – which include children’s clothes, blankets and soap – are being distributed to those in need. Your donation can fund those efforts.
Globalgiving.org has created the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund help first responders meet survivors' immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, Global Giving funds support longer-term recovery efforts run by local, vetted local organizations.
International Medical Corps is putting together Mobile Medial Units to deliver medicines, supplies and emergency care in Nepal. The group is accepting donations online and via text message. To donate $10, text the word "med" to 80888.
There are several ways to donate through the United Nations. The World Food Programme is working out of a Relief Hub at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu to store, transport and deliver food to those in need. There is also the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund, which collects donations to be channeled through various UN relief efforts.
Avoid charity scams
The North Carolina Attorney General's Office offered these tips to support legitimate charities:
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.
Do your homework before giving. 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 www.guidestar.org and www.charitynavigator.org.
Avoid pushy telemarketers. Telemarketers who 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.
Consider crowdfunding requests very carefully. Crowdfunding sites allow people to raise money for causes and projects online, but they can be misused by scammers. Make sure you know who you’re donating to and how the funds will be used, and ask how much of your donation would go to the crowdfunding site instead of the cause
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.