Many Connecticut residents want to help the thousands of people left homeless and hungry by Hurricane Harvey in the Texas area. But the state is urging generous residents to choose a nonprofit organization carefully before making a monetary donation.
“The best way we can help survivors in a disaster, particularly in the first days, is to donate funds to trusted charitable organizations that are often on the frontlines working in close partnership with first responders,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said. “These funds will help those in need as the Houston region begins to recover.”
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said: “I urge residents to donate through these trusted sources so help gets to the people who need it the most.”
Natural disasters can unfortunately be opportunities for fraud. Scam charities often solicit funds via email, telephone, and even pop-up ads on social media. It is important to do research on a charity before giving by visiting the organization’s website, calling to ask questions, and making sure they have the appropriate credentials. Consumers are encouraged to donate to organizations they are familiar with in order to ensure their money is going to the best place possible.
“We urge everyone to remain vigilant when responding to requests to assist flood victims in Texas and Louisiana,” Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora Schriro said. “Donors should exercise caution when responding to any email with a subject line, attachment, or hyperlink related to Hurricane Harvey, even if it appears to originate from a trusted source.”
Take the following precautions before giving funds:
- Use caution when opening email attachments.
- Do not log onto an unsolicited web link.
- Keep antivirus and other computer software on your computer up-to-date.
- Verify the authenticity of any email solicitation by contacting the organization directly through a bona fide contact number; the BBB National Charity Report Index is an excellent resource.
The following list from the state includes some of the reputable organizations accepting donations for Hurricane Harvey. This is not an exhaustive list of all charitable organizations providing assistance to those impacted by the storm:
- Red Cross , or call: 1-800-RED CROSS, or text: HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation
- Stamford-based Americares or call: 1-800-486‑HELP
- Houston Food Bank
- Galveston Food Bank
- Food Bank of the Golden Crescent in Victoria
- Corpus Christi Food Bank
- Southeast Texas Food Bank in Beaumont
- Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley in Pharr
- Brazos Valley Food Bank in Bryan
- Central Texas Food Bank in Austin
- San Antonio Food Bank
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