Hurricane Harvey Donations: 10 Legit Ways to Donate and Feel Good.
( This post is brought to you by Courtesy of : How We Make Money Online, The New York Times and Forbes)
The devastating and emotionally moving nature of Hurricane Harvey can be summed up in the following statement by UnicefUSA:
“Hurricane Harvey has left more than 1 million children in Texas unable to start school, with up to 3 million impacted across the region. UNICEF USA will support the ongoing rebuilding efforts, focused on schools and educational systems in Texas, helping to get all children back to school and back to learning”.
Now, that’s how you know that the situation is critical. Hopefully, you also get the idea that your Hurricane Harvey Donations are desperately needed!
According to The New York Times, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said the recovery costs might exceed those of Hurricane Katrina, which caused more than $100 billion in damage. Clearly, without your Hurricane Harvey Donations, federal and state governments cannot bear this burden alone.
Hurricane Harvey Donations: Donate Right and Feel Good!
The New York Times strongly advises that, “before giving money to an organization, do your research”.
The Internal Revenue Service has search tools that reveal whether an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.
If you suspect an organization or individual is engaging in fraud, you can report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud.
“Be wary of charities that spring up too suddenly in response to current events and natural disasters,” the F.T.C. website says. “Even if they are legitimate, they probably don’t have the infrastructure to get the donations to the affected area or people.”
Hurricane Harvey Donations
Forbes Magazine has also come up with what it calls “tips to keep in mind when helping out during Harvey”. Here are the tips;
1. Cash is king. While you may want to send food and other items, the infrastructure may not support those donations. Many organizations have been clear that cash, or cash equivalent, is preferred (but keep reading). Keep receipts if you intend to claim those donations on your tax return.
2. Stay put. Yes, we all want to get in our cars and help but don’t rush to help without checking first. There are already professionals and trained volunteers on the scene, and due to the potential for more flooding, relief officials have asked that folks stay off the roads where possible. If your services are needed and you do volunteer, remember that you can claim a tax deduction for your out-of-pocket expenses but not for your time.
3. Be smart. Be wary of personal solicitations on your doorstep or over the phone. Make sure that gifts made by checks or credit card gifts are secure. And don’t send money by text or using apps like Venmo without first verifying the organization and the contact information. If you don’t want to donate online or by text, most organizations have alternatives, like donation forms that you can mail together with a check (never send cash through the mail). Always keep excellent records of donations since the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that you do so for tax purposes – and having the information available is handy if you want to follow up with another donation.
4. Do your homework. Check out the credentials of a potential donee/charitable organization before you donate. Charity Navigator is useful for gathering information about existing charities and has a Hurricane Harvey specific section. Forbes has its own list of the largest charities in the US complete with details on revenues, corporate pay, fundraising efficiency, and more (just click on the individual charity’s name for more info). Finally, you can always confirm charitable status through the IRS web site using the EO Select Check Tool. Remember that some organizations (like churches) may not be listed, so don’t be afraid to ask organizations which don’t appear on the list for more information.
5. Check with the organization first. While most organizations prefer cash, there are some soliciting in-kind donations (see below). Those wish lists may change as needs are assessed and storage for items may be limited. Check with the organization before you send or drop off anything. And if you’re planning to claim a tax deduction for any in-kind goods, be sure to keep receipts showing what you paid for the items.
6. Use caution when donating to individuals. For tax purposes, you can only deduct contributions to qualified tax-exempt charitable organizations. Donations to individuals are never deductible for tax purposes even if the individuals are really deserving. But there’s another, non-tax reason to use caution: money solicited for individuals could be part of a scam and even if it’s not, the money might not be spent as advertised. Keep in mind that once you hand over the cash, you have no control over how it might be used.
7. Rely on oldies but goodies. There’s nothing wrong with new charitable organizations but there is something to be said for those that have been around for awhile – like the Red Cross. Brand new organizations may not have the facilities in place to offer the most effective relief – or they could be scams. Use caution before handing over your cash.
8. Pay attention to the rules. The rules for charitable giving apply even in extraordinary situations although sometimes those rules may be tweaked to allow for more generosity. Stay informed. Be sure to document your gifts and get receipts. And never hesitate to ask the charitable organization or your tax professional if you have questions.
Hurricane Harvey Donations: 10 Most Recommended Charities by How We Make Money Online
If you really want to be absolutely sure about how your hard-earned money will be used, How We Make Money Online strongly advises as follows;
- GuideStar: Check out that charity on GuideStar. GuideStar is one of the most respected charity watchdogs out there.
- Charity Navigator: another great organization dedicated to monitoring charities. Charity Navigator will tell you if that organization is in good standing or not.
- AIP: The American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) is a nonprofit charity watchdog and information service providing charity ratings for approximately 500 major U.S. charities.
- BBB: Finally, when all else fails, you can turn to the good old Better Business Bureau to determine the charity’s service profile, disputes and ratings.
Our friends and families in Texas and all those affected by Hurricanes critically need our help. For How We Make Money Online, here are 10 Legit Ways to Donate and Feel Good;
1.Lakewood Church/Pastor Joel Osteen
According to a recent statement released by Lakewood, hundreds of evacuees were sheltered and cared for at Lakewood for almost a week after the flood. Huge quantities of clothes, water, hygiene supplies, baby needs, non-perishable food items, etc. have been donated and distributed to thousands of those in need. On their donation page, Lakewood gives donors the option of donating to Tithes and Offerings, Missions or Hurricane Relief.
Hurricane Harvey Donations : Click Here to Donate Now through Lakewood Church
“Hurricane Harvey has left more than 1 million children in Texas unable to start school, with up to 3 million impacted across the region. UNICEF USA will support the ongoing rebuilding efforts, focused on schools and educational systems in Texas, helping to get all children back to school and back to learning.”
3. The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is asking people to donate online, by phone or snail mail to the people affected by Hurricane Harvey. According to the organization’s website, the minimum online donation is $10.
“Thousands are in desperate need of aid, medicine and basic supplies, and we can’t keep up with demand. You can help them!”
5. The Salvation Army
As Hurricane Harvey causes widespread damage across Texas, The Salvation Army is ready to provide physical, emotional and spiritual care to survivors and relief workers. Salvation Army disaster teams from across the country are mobilizing and, even after disaster response efforts are over, The Salvation Army will remain in communities impacted by this terrible storm, supporting long-term disaster recovery efforts and providing ongoing assistance to those in need.
6.Catholic Charities USA
According to their website, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), the official domestic relief agency of the Catholic Church, is monitoring the progress of Hurricane Harvey, along with the local Catholic Charities agencies in Texas, and taking action toward assisting in the recovery efforts. 100% of funds raised are going to those affected.
Hurricane Harvey Donations: Click Here to Donate Now through Catholic Charities USA
7. Go Fund Me
With Go Fund Me, your donations go almost 100% directly to the families and friends who critically need our help now. Donate to the Direct Impact Fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that has partnered with GoFundMe. Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to support individuals with verified campaigns on GoFundMe
8. Samaritan Purse
Five Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief units are now in Texas to equip staff and volunteers as they serve residents recovering from Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. They have volunteer bases set up and operating in Houston and Pearland, just south of the city. Volunteers are also hard at work around Victoria, Rockport/Portland, and Santa Fe.
9. United Way
United Way has created the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund to support local communities in Texas, Louisiana and the surrounding areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. According to its website, United Way has raised almost $27,430,000 for mid and long term recovery from National and Local funds. Your Hurricane Harvey Donations will go a long way here.
10. Save The Children
“Hurricane Harvey’s punishing rains, fierce winds and raging floods have left a wake of devastation. Vulnerable children and their families have been forced to evacuate their homes, not knowing whether they’ll still be standing when they return. Our emergency responders are working around the clock to provide family-friendly supplies and services to Hurricane Harvey survivors.”
Who better to donate to than those who are in the eye of the storm: the leaders and people of Houston themselves
The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund of Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, which is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation is probably one of the most legit local organizations to donate to.
The New York Times also reports that, If you live in Texas, the City of Houston Emergency Operations Center has posted a list of places where you can take donations. In Dallas, officials have opened two donation centers. Additional details can be found here.
Your Hurricane Harvey Donations will make a big difference in the lives of many children and families. Donate today and change lives forever! Thank you in advance.
(Sources: How We Make Money Online, The New York Times and Forbes Magazine )
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