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Hatian Relief~Cash or Credit?
Old 02-02-2010, 04:12 PM   #1
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Hatian Relief~Cash or Credit?

DW went grocery shopping recently and the cashier asked her if she would like to donate $10 to the Haitian relief. Being a sucker big hearted, she said OK and added it to her grocery purchase and charged it on DC. The cashier seemed confused a bit as to how to actually make the $10 contribution work, but eventually did, or said that she did.

When she got home DW realized that she had been charged $70 for this Haitian relief. I checked the DC web site and found that we had also been charged ANOTHER $70 (2X70=$140)! Had to called DC and they temporally suspended both. Went back to the store and raised hell. They are "working on the problem".

It occurs to me that this way of making a contribution is not advised. Not only because of the problems that DW had, but because you never really know if that money ever is sent to those intended. What if the store has financial problems and sees this as a way to get temporary relief?

Better to just make a cash/check contribution directly to your selected charity/charities.
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
DW went grocery shopping recently and the cashier asked her if she would like to donate $10 to the Haitian relief. Being a sucker big hearted, she said OK and added it to her grocery purchase and charged it on DC. The cashier seemed confused a bit as to how to actually make the $10 contribution work, but eventually did, or said that she did.

When she got home DW realized that she had been charged $70 for this Haitian relief. I checked the DC web site and found that we had also been charged ANOTHER $70 (2X70=$140)! Had to called DC and they temporally suspended both. Went back to the store and raised hell. They are "working on the problem".

It occurs to me that this way of making a contribution is not advised. Not only because of the problems that DW had, but because you never really know if that money ever is sent to those intended. What if the store has financial problems and sees this as a way to get temporary relief?

Better to just make a cash/check contribution directly to your selected charity/charities.
Good point. And in any case, once the aid gets to Haiti, it will most likely be stolen by thugs.

Ha
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Old 02-02-2010, 04:41 PM   #3
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And in any case, once the aid gets to Haiti, it will most likely be stolen by thugs.
Thugs in need! Even thugs need things like HDTV's, rugs, and jewelry. Hence why they loot.

I would just donate through regular channels, and not due to a solicitation from a grocery store or person knocking on my door. Go to the website of whatever charity you favor and make a donation that way, or call them directly and ask where you can mail a check if you don't want to do it online.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:53 PM   #4
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At the beginning of every year, we make a list of precisely which charities we will donate to that year and how much. If people call or otherwise ask for money, I explain our system and tell them I will consider them for inclusion in next year's list. That avoids the constant trickle of responses to letters and calls and solicitations at the grocery store. In the many years we have been doing this, we have made only two exceptions -- once for the Indian Ocean tsunami and this year for the Haitian earthquake. Both times, we wrote a check to Americares, which is a splendid and very efficient humanitarian charity providing medical emergency relief. http://www.americares.org/


If you want to investigate charities, I cannot recommend Charity Navigator http://www.charitynavigator.org/ highly enough. They have information on a host of charities, so you can see just how much of your dollar goes to the mission and how much to fundraising and overhead. The link on their front page shows a list of legitimate charities helping in Haiti.

I work every day with the people who monitor and investigate charities. There is a substantial amount of fraud and just plain inefficiency in the system. Some charity fundraisers contribute only 3% to the mission and the other 97% goes to the fundraisers. That is why organizations like Charity Navigator are so important.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:13 PM   #5
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.........Better to just make a cash/check contribution directly to your selected charity/charities.
Just about every store and restaurant around here ask if you want to donate to some 'Help Haiti' fund. I polite tell them "No thanks...I already give through my chosen charity."

I have Haitian friends who live in Haiti, and are tending to the immediate needs of the survivors of the quake in Leogane, which was just about ground-zero of the epicenter. They're currently helping over 1,000 people who have set up a tent-city across the street from their complex (or at least what is left of their complex)....providing them with food, water, and medical attention....none of which has come from any government sources of any country, including their own. They are receiving a great deal of their supplies and all of their money from a small missionary organization in NC that is headed by another friend of mine, who used to live in Port Au Prince along with his family.....I spent some time with them there. The supplies that are not shipped to them, are being purchased with the monetary donations. That missionary organization is sending a volunteer medical team to Leogane the first part of next week...all of whom will be paying their own way, and living in tents basically under the same conditions as those they are going to help.

So knowing those heading the charity here in the States, and knowing the ones receiving the aid in Leogane.....I also know where my donations are going and what they're being used for.....100% of my donations....there are NO fees or percentages going for 'administration costs', as there are NO administration costs...EVERYONE volunteers AND pays their own way! NO exceptions!

There are many other charities that are doing great things for the Haitian people, however I've chosen the one that I'm most comfortable and confident with, and have no desire to contribute to the others at this time.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:04 PM   #6
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At the beginning of every year, we make a list of precisely which charities we will donate to that year and how much. If people call or otherwise ask for money, I explain our system and tell them I will consider them for inclusion in next year's list. That avoids the constant trickle of responses to letters and calls and solicitations at the grocery store. In the many years we have been doing this, we have made only two exceptions -- once for the Indian Ocean tsunami and this year for the Haitian earthquake. Both times, we wrote a check to Americares, which is a splendid and very efficient humanitarian charity providing medical emergency relief. AmeriCares Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Aid Organization
Interesting. We rarely contribute money to charities unless there is a pressing and dire need (we plan on making bequests and other forms of donations once we are financially secure!). The two times that I recall we felt like we had to give something was the Christmas tsunami and just recently to the Haiti efforts. Both times to Americares.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:09 PM   #7
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I don't usually contribute to a disaster fund right away. Usually there is an initial flood of money coming in, and then it's like things are forgotten long before the relief efforts are actually finished.

I usually wait about 2-4 weeks for that reason. And I don't care for the sudden influx of new charities and fund drives where I don't know where the money is going. Even if a new charity is legitimate, why duplicate the bureaucracy and administrative costs when efficient and legitimate organizations are already doing the work down there?
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:39 PM   #8
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Although we don't use our credit cards very often, we had some $$/miles sitting with CapitalOne, who sent an e-mail asking if we wanted to donate them for Haiti. We did, to Doctors Without Borders. I believe most of the credit card companies are absorbing the transaction costs so that 100 percent of donations go to the relief organization (i.e., they are not making money from these donations).

We donated this summer to an Asian charity via check, which took two months to clear. I hope CC donations get to the charities a little more quickly.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:19 PM   #9
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Thugs in need! Even thugs need things like HDTV's, rugs, and jewelry. Hence why they loot.
To paraphrase: A thug in need is a thug indeed!
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:39 PM   #10
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TCF Bank will match your contribution $ for $, up to $1000

Expect there are other organizations doing the same.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:23 AM   #11
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TCF Bank will match your contribution $ for $, up to $1000

Expect there are other organizations doing the same.
Nice.
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