The Connecticut school tragedy does inspire people to give. But as we've seen all too often after terrible events, it's also inspired con artists to try to take advantage of your good intentions.
The Better Business Bureau has received reports of fake charity solicitations that claim to be on behalf of the victims' families. And the BBB wants you to know what charities are reputable and how to give to them.
When it comes to helping the Sandy Hook victims' families, it's always best to go with what you know. The United Way of Connecticut has set up a fund to take donations for counseling and to meet the families' other needs.
“But they're not charging a fee on that, where sometimes for all those there's a fee to start a fund and a fee to administer a fund and United Way isn't doing that. This is truly a gift to that community to begin to help them heal in whatever way that is," Jessie Schmidt of the Better Business Bureau said.
The Newtown Rotary Club has also set up a foundation.
“Those are organizations we know in those communities that are solid and have been around a long time and nationally have good reputations; the United Way and Rotary Club," Schmidt said.
There are also dozens of other organizations taking help for the families. Before you donate to any of them, go to Give.org or check out the charity's website directly.
“But we always want to caution at this time that for every good intention out there, there's always somebody willing to capitalize on somebody else's terrible misfortune. That's really our caution and the caution of the BBB to really only give your money to those organizations you know are genuine in the support of the tragedy that has happened to this community," Schmidt said.
KELOLAND News has also vetted a number of these organizations for you and we've put a list on the Back to Business page; as well as the address for the Connecticut fund. If you can't donate money, you can send a card or letter directly to the town.
Letters can be sent to the address below:
Messages of Condolence for Newtown
PO Box 3700
Newtown CT 06470
If you have any questions please call:
United Way of Western Connecticut