How to donate safely to Hurricane Ida relief

Many people want to help Hurricane Ida victims but sadly, this is also when scammers come out.
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 10:40 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Many people want to help Hurricane Ida victims but sadly, this is also when scammers come out. KNOE’s Alyssa Azzara looked into how you can donate safely.

“Money is needed, services are needed, but during the first few hours after an emergency it’s not necessary to send your donation immediately, be patient and do your research before you try to send money,” said JoAnn Deal from the Better Business Bureau.

Deal said always use a credit card, and use local charities and groups like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and local churches that you can count on. Plus, you can go to the BBB’s charity site, Wise Giving, to make sure charities are legit. Deal says to check charity websites for red flags, like a misspelling.

“For example, with the number 1 or letter I or letter L, it’s easy to see it left out or an extra one added and this is a common effort where scammers take legitimate websites and imposter them,” said Deal.

You can also donate through your local city officials. West Monroe is collecting supplies at City Hall for evacuees staying in the area.

“Your hygiene products, such as shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, all that type of stuff, we’re collecting those, games, puzzles, things that help people occupy their time, you know keep their mind off of things, as well as individually packaged snacks,” said Mayor Staci Mitchell.

The United Way is handling the distribution. Mitchell said it’s a trusted organization so you know your donation will be put in the right hands.

“The United Way does have a portal open for your donations already, your red cross, all of these places are reputable, they’re hands-on,” said Mitchell.

You can drop off any of the following items at the West Monroe City Hall Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Items needed: Hygiene products (toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, mouthwash, etc.), board games, deck of cards, coloring books, crayons or markers, individually wrapped snacks, pillows, and blankets. All items must be new and unused.

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