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To the Rescue: Donating to Charity

During and after a disaster such as the Southern California wildfires, it's common to hear pleas for donations and want to help out. As of this time, the creatures at the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park are doing fine, but organizations like the Humane Society are still helping to rescue, shelter, and provide for the needs of displaced pets and larger animals like horses and llamas. If you're inspired to give to a cause (animal-related or not), here's some food for thought to protect your good intentions from someone else's bad ones.

  • Pick your passion. Chances are if you're thinking of donating, you already have an organization or a cause in mind. If you're still looking, it helps to search nationally soliciting charitable organizations (and determine their legitimacy) at the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a merger of the National Charities Information Bureau and the Council of Better Business Bureaus' Foundation.
  • Do your homework. If it smells fishy, it probably is. Be careful to avoid charitable scams. Many times, especially when disaster strikes, bogus organizations pop up often with similar or "legit" sounding names. In this situation, give to familiar charities that have a history of working in disaster relief. Always protect your information – don't give card numbers over the phone to solicitors or on the spot cash donations, and keep a record of your transactions. Remember all donations are valuable even offering up your time!
Join The Conversation
maria0305 maria0305 9 years
Donating locally is the best to me because because odds are, you'll be able to SEE the results. Whether it's a cat's surgery, a dog's new bed, or the rescue's outstanding vet bills lessened, you will see just how they are using your money and it will really make you feel good about what you did. And it's very important that you keep in mind that time can be just as valuable as money so volunteering and fostering can be an awesome way to help out even if your budget doesn't allow for charitable expenses.
HalidLove HalidLove 9 years
I wanted to add that there are currently around 200 horses at the Pierce Community College Equestrian Center, 2000 horses (yes, 2,000) at Del Mar Fairgrounds, 700 at the Oaks/Blenheim Show Facility, around 60 at the Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center and more scattered around everywhere else.
HalidLove HalidLove 9 years
A forum I belong to has started a thread of some homes confirmed lost and places to donate. They can be viewed here.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
the san diego humane society is really helping out in these fires. They've opened up areas for people with livestock and are in need of things like litter, crates, etc. They're also going out to areas that have been burned to check on animals, like horses and cattle. This is such a tragedy. It breaks my heart to see people forced out of their homes and to often time return to nothing
missmaddie missmaddie 9 years
In the Bay Area, here in Cali, there's a fabulous organization called the Milo Foundation that rescues dogs and kitties (many from the pound, where they'd have to be put down after a certain time period) and finds them homes. Both mes chiens have come from them. Such a worthy cause!
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
I would suggest looking into the finances available to an organization prior to donating. Places such as the Best Friends Animal Society have a HUGE donor base with many WEALTHY donors. Other, smaller rescue groups may be in more of a financial need if they have been completely wiped out or even moderately devastated.
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