Saturday, July 23, 2011

Two Charities Sued Over Tornado Fund Raising in Missouri

The people of Joplin, MO continue to be in our thoughts as they work to rebuild and recover.  Missouri Attorney General, Chris Koster, is clearly keeping an eye out for the less-than-ethical organizations that would seek to profit from their devastation. 

The Joplin Globe reports that Koster has filed lawsuits against Alivio Foundation, Ind. and Steven Blood.  Among other fraudulent activity, it is alleged that both purported to raise funds for recovery efforts in Joplin, MO through the use of  PayPal donation links on their websites, but that none of the collective $15,000 raised has gone to tornado victims. 

We strongly urge consumers to be careful when making a charitable donation.  Your dollars matter and you want to see them put the best use possible. The BBB offers these tips when considering a donation to disaster relief:

  • Be cautious when giving online.
  • Rely on expert opinion when it comes to evaluating a charity.
  • Be wary of claims that 100 percent of donations will assist disaster victims.
  • Find out of the charity as an on-the-ground presence in impacted areas.
  • Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups.
  • Gifts of clothing, food, and other in-kind donations are not as helpful as cash.

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