DES MOINES — Hurricane watches and warnings are posted for Florida’s Gulf Coast as Hurricane Ian approaches, while Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Fiona, but Iowans who sympathize and want to help are being warned about another storm — of scams.
Better Business Bureau spokeswoman Lisa Schiller says there are plenty of recommendations on how to donate to legitimate, helpful charities. Schiller says, “I guess if I had to narrow down, the most important one, I would say: know who you are giving to.”
When disasters strike, she says it’s better to send cash electronically instead of clothing or household items. “Donating money is really the quickest way to help, and it provides charities with the most flexibility to channel their resources to the impacted areas,” she says.
Schiller says doing a little homework beforehand can help to make sure your donation gets to the right place. “You want to make sure that the most of your money is getting to the people that are in need,” she says. “You really have to understand and know who you are giving to, and that starts with doing a few minutes of research.”
The BBB offers a free service on its website, the Charity Report Program, which helps donors to make informed giving decisions.