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Check It Out: Be Informed Before Giving

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tsunami relief graphic -- correct thumbnail
RALEIGH, N.C. — News of the Asian tsunamis is hitting people hard. The scale of the devastation is hard to believe and the focus on helping the survivors has generated an outpouring of giving.

Cash is greatly needed. Being an educated giver could be the difference in whether your money gets to the people who really need it.

The Triangle Indian Market in Raleigh now doubles as a local American Red Cross collection site. It is donating made easy for a community desperate to help the disaster victims.

"We are one of the busiest stores here. We cater to a lot of the Indian community because these people are very helpful," cashier Geetha Siddanthan said.

Experts advise before opening your wallet, make sure your charity of choice has a proven track record.

"People with a computer can print out anything that looks very fine and wonderful. Be an informed giver," North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall said.

Information about charitable organizations can easily be found online.

The Secretary of State's

Web site

has a list of charitable organizations and their records.

"The response has been tremendous in this area," said Sherry Mitchell of the Triangle Chapter of the American Red Cross. People are desperately wanting to help because of the devastation."


Triangle Chapter of the American Red Cross

has been inundated with phone calls. It is one link to getting contributions directly to tsunami victims.

"Make a check out to the International Response Fund. You can indicate on the bottom if you have a specific tsunami designation or country," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the International Red Cross estimates it will need more than $6 million in donations over the next six months. There are a number of reputable church and civic organizations working on behalf of tsunami relief.


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