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IEMA says be careful with donating for disaster relief

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The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) on Wednesday said to be careful while donating to support disaster relief.

The agency said that the flood of unsolicited donations of items can be called a “second disaster,” as it forces relief agencies to oversee donation management rather than life-safety activities.

“While the generosity of others is always appreciated, especially during times of great need, monetary donations allow the most flexibility in obtaining timely resources and pumps cash into the local economy that helps strengthen a community,” said IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “It strongly urged that any cash contributions be donated to a trusted, reputable voluntary or charitable organization.” 

When donating money, always ensure money is going to a legitimate charity.

“Donating to charitable organizations providing direct aid and support is a good way to provide assistance,” Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said. “Unfortunately, scammers are ready to take advantage, which is why it is important to be on the lookout for scam charities. I encourage people to visit the Attorney General’s website to find out whether a charity is registered and in compliance with state laws, or to contact my Charitable Trust Bureau to report concerns about an organization. Be an informed donor and ensure that your money reaches those in need.”

Tate-Nadeau said that it can be best to volunteer time with a disaster relief organization. Those interested in volunteering should contact IL VOAD for information on disaster recovery organizations that need volunteers.. Additionally, the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (www.nvoad.org) maintains a national database of voluntary and charitable organizations involved in a variety of activities, including emergency preparedness and response throughout the nation.

You can find a list of registered charitable organizations on the Illinois Attorney General’s website.

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