As a result of the many hurricanes and other disasters happening lately, there are also many opportunities to help the victims if you are so inclined. However, there are certain guidelines to help you make sure your money gets to where it is going:
Even if it is an established organization, each one has overhead costs that may diminish how much of your gift actually reaches the victims. The answer is usually given in a percentage form such as 86 or whatever the number is. That means 14 percent of what you give goes to the running of the organization while the rest goes to the victims of whatever you are giving toward.
Try to stay away from grass roots companies that spring up after any disaster. If you are in doubt about their validity, check them out with the Better Business Bureau. Here is your local listing for this area:
BBB of the Southland
PO Box 970
Colton, CA 92324 -3052
I have used the BBB several times over the years, always with good results.
You can also ask friends, relatives and associates whom they have used to good effect to get ideas on this subject.
Americans are known for our helpful attitudes in the face of disasters, but don't let your generosity blind you to the wisdom you need to find the right place to help. Use sound reasoning when you are asked to give. If you are a praying person, ask God to help by showing you which place, if any, He wants you to use for your generous gift. Remember, you cannot give to everything that comes along, so you must use discretion as to which ones you will choose to help. Our mailboxes are full of opportunities to be generous, some are good and some are not. So be nice about it but ask the right questions as you participate. We get letters all the time that pull at our heartstrings because the need is so great, but check it out to see if is for real, not just someone trying to get your money. There are many worthwhile places to give but there are also con men out there seeking to get what you have.
Each person has their own preferences where they feel comfortable giving to, but still use your mind and the wisdom that is needed to ascertain where your hard-earned money should go. Don't be overly suspicious that everyone is out to cheat you but find out the facts you need with these and other suggestions. God gave us a brain to use in situations like these so we can discern what is right and what is wrong. But if we ignore the warning signs it is our own fault not anyone else's. Have a great holiday season and give wisely to the place that you ultimately choose.