Because, aviously…

After the hurricanes of last week charities and donation sites saw a surge of money.

NFL star JJ Watt raised $27 Million, and people across the country sent money down to Houston. But some of the charities/options left me a little confused.

For starters, why would you give to the Red Cross? Sure they are easy to give to with just a simple text message, but so much of what you give them never makes it to the people you intend to.
9% of what you send to the Red Cross goes in their own pockets.
Yup, you read that right. You sent $100 down to Houston and only $91 made it to the people, the other $9 funded the vacation of Gail McGovern.
This isn’t talking about scams or fraud, but the actual FACTS of the Red Cross (source).

My thoughts were to give towards local charities, such as the United Way of Greater Houston. And even though United Way has had its own share of scandals, when giving to a local chapter you have less chance of that happening, and there’s less chance of it going to other projects if it isn’t skimmed.
For example: Giving to the Red Cross could lead to your dollar going towards Mexico or Puerto Rico. And while there’s nothing wrong with giving to those as well, but your good intentions towards Houston are for naught.
But giving to a Houston based charity, it’ll get used one way or another for that community.

In the same light, if you are going to donate, be a little selfish about it and give to the organizations so you can get a tax receipt.
Giving at the cash register at Walgreens, as they nudge you to do as you check out, gives THEM a tax write off, and you are just down the money. It also means that there’s just another organization in the way that can take some money off the top before it hits the people on the ground.

So what do I suggest? Do your research, give to organizations you already trust who might be doing work in the region post-storm, and don’t let anyone force you to give if you don’t really want to.

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