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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Smart Giving /  Editorial List  

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 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 appreciated. 

Some of those organizations include:

redcross .org

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 following:

  • 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 via



Gary Barg

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