How to Help Boston
It’s only human nature to want to help out victims of a disaster, but tragic events also bring scam artists out of the woodwork. In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, many folks have called the radio station to ask WHERE to give.
We had some local runners and spectators at the event....
Paul Horton of Knoxville said at the time of the explosions he was in his hotel room after finishing the race about 1.5 hours before the bombs went off.
Kevin Fitzgerald of Sevierville also ran in the Boston Marathon. He said he was on his way to the Providence airport when he learned what happened.
The good news is The runners say they were told all East Tennessee runners who participated in the Boston Marathon are okay.
The Better Business Bureau reminds you to ALWAYS check the source and be careful and take precaution when you make any donation to an organization claiming to raise funds for victims after ANY disaster.
But we did put together a quick list to help you
- Give to established charities, or vet any unfamiliar ones before giving. Make sure they have nonprofit 501(c)(3) status. Most states require charities to register themselves, usually through a branch of your state attorney general’s office. Check there, as well as with sites that evaluate nonprofits like CharityNavigator.org, CharityWatch.org, GuideStar.org, and FoundationCenter.org. These sites also provide information about what percentage of donors’ money goes to their cause, as opposed to administration and other expenses.
- Sometimes, victims’ loved ones or communities will set up fundraising campaigns. These informal charitable efforts can be worthy causes, but the BBB recommends making sure that a CPA, lawyer, or other experienced professional is overseeing the collection of donations. Also keep in mind that your donation may not be tax-deductible.
- Don’t donate via a link that pops up in your email inbox; it could be a scam that takes you to a mirror site and steals your money (or infects your computer with a virus or worm). Instead, go directly to a charity’s website, and make sure the page where you provide your credit card information starts with “https” instead of just “http,” indicating a secure page.
Boston.com has an extensive round-up of local organizations accepting donations, including funds that have been set up to help some specific families. Can’t donate money? It include links on where you can go to donate blood, as well.
Here are a few notable organizations that are matching some contributions:
- The Kraft family, owners of the New England Patriots, will match donations up to $100,000 through their foundation.
- Patriots player Vince Wilfork also is soliciting donations through his nonprofit foundation, which usually fund-raises for diabetes; it asks people to give $10 by texting “VINCE” to 50555. Wilfork matched the first $10,000 raised.
- Massachusetts nonprofit Technology Underwriting Greater Good is diverting its usual fundraising efforts in the wake of the bombings to raise money for victims and their families, working with the city government and local hospitals to identify who ost needs assistance. TUGG and its fundraising partner are chipping in the administrative and credit card processing costs so 100% of donations go where they’re needed.