FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN / Smart Giving
Imagine the entire population of American cities
the size of Montgomery, Alabama; Tempe, Arizona;
Modesto, California or Lubbock, Texas disappearing
within the course of one night. Frightening.
Or consider losing the total number of people you know
or ever knew. This is the equivalent of what
happened to our neighbors to the south in Haiti last
week. I, like much of the world, have been
glued to my television set as one tragic consequence
of last Tuesday's earthquake after another
unfolds in front of me.
As a South Floridian, I am surrounded by friends and
neighbors who have been personally touched by loss as
well as frustrated by not knowing about the well-being
of friends and loved ones due to lack of
communication. Sending money to the
appropriate organizations is actually the best thing
we can do to help. Any amount is gratefully
Some of those organizations include:
As in any opportunity for good people to help, there
is, unfortunately, always an opportunity for bad
people to try to profit from othersí pain. As
fearless caregivers, it is in our best interest to
know the difference.
According to the FBI:
Before making a donation of any kind, consumers should
adhere to certain guidelines, to include the
- Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam)
incoming e-mails, including clicking links contained
within those messages.
- Be skeptical of individuals representing
themselves as surviving victims or officials asking
for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
- Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit
organizations by utilizing various Internet-based
resources that may assist in confirming the groupís
existence and its nonprofit status rather than
following a purported link to the site.
- Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show
pictures of the disaster areas in attached files
because the files may contain viruses. Only open
attachments from known senders.
- Make contributions directly to known
organizations rather than relying on others to make
the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions
are received and used for intended purposes.
- Do not give your personal or financial
information to anyone who solicits contributions:
Providing such information may compromise your
identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
Anyone who has received an e-mail referencing the
above information or anyone who may have been a victim
of this or a similar incident should notify the IC3