Where to Donate to Harvey Victims (and How to Avoid Scams)

Christina Caron, The New York Times
August 28, 2017

A large and complicated rescue operation is underway in Houston as floodwaters continue to rise, fed by unrelenting rain.

So far, there’s no end in sight.

Tropical Storm Harvey is expected to produce 7 to 13 more inches of rain through Friday over the upper Texas coast, where some areas — including the Houston metropolitan area — may see accumulations of up to 50 inches.


A temporary shelter set up at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Here are options to help.

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Swizz Beatz Gets Ripped for Hosting Bronx Art Event with No Bronx Artists

Article originally appears on Welcome2theBronx.com.
by Ed Garcia Conde

As if last year’s gentrification party by Keith Rubenstein wasn’t enough, Bronx-born Swizz Beatz is hosting what appears to be an unofficial sequel to that event this coming week from Thursday, August 11th to Sunday, August 14th at a “yet to be named warehouse on the South Bronx waterfront in the ‘Piano District‘.” Read The Rest

Watch Out for Charity Scams After Orlando Shooting

Excerpt of USA Today article by Brooke Niemeyer, Credit.com

In the wake of the Orlando shooting, many want to help victims and their families by giving donations. Unfortunately, scammers may try to take advantage of their kindness.

“Scammers depend on heightened emotion and often follow closely behind tragic events,” Holly Salmons, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Central Florida, said in a press release.

In these situations, crowdfunding sites can be set up quickly to collect donations. Because these sites aren’t generally vetted, anyone may be able to set one up, including scammers, which we saw following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

If you are considering making a donation to the Orlando shooting victims, the Better Business Bureau encourages you to be safe online. Don’t click on links you aren’t familiar with, and be sure to check the URL for accuracy. Scammers often register a misspelled version of a popular website to lure people who hit the wrong key. (You can read more about how to spot an internet scam here.)

Here are a few other things you should be aware of:

Vague appeals: If the site doesn’t explain how they intend to use the funds being donated or say when they’ll be used, the Better Business Bureau says it’s a red flag.

Government registration: The majority of states require charities register with a state government agency before soliciting, so be sure you’re giving to a registered charity.

Family funds: Families may set up their own assistance fund, so it won’t be registered with the government, but the Better Business Bureau says to make sure the money is received and administered by a third party (like a bank, CPA or lawyer), as this will help ensure the funds are used appropriately.

Transparency: A charity should clearly account for the funds they receive and how they’re spent after they’re raised.

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Not So Haute: Lamar Odom and Other Athletes Face Scrutiny Over Charity Finances

A number of credible news sources are reporting today that reality star Khloe Kardashian Odom and Los Angeles Clippers player Lamar Odom are facing scrutiny over the finances of Lamar’s charity, Cathy’s Kids.  The charity was founded in 2004 in honor of Lamar’s mother who lost her battle with stomach cancer.  Since its inception, the organization has raised a reported $2.2 million dollars of which none has been actually given to the research it was set up to support.

Khloe and Lamar charity 660 1 Read The Rest

Not So Haute: A-Rod Family Foundation Gave Only 1% Of Donations To Charity: Report

A-Rod is in A-Lot of trouble again. But this time he messed with kids, and that’s really not cool.

The Boston Globe identified a number of offenders in its recent review of 150 Internal Revenue Service filings by 50 nonprofits run by professional athletes. One of the worst organizations was the A-Rod Family Foundation, which gave just 1 percent of its proceeds to charity during its first year of operation.

Alex Rodriguez

The IRS stripped the foundation of its tax-exempt status after it stopped submitting required financial reports, according to the Globe, but the organization’s website is still up and running and claims to be a 501c3.

The website says that it’s devoted to helping distressed families by supporting educational and mental health programs. But right off the bat, A-Rod appeared to be stiffing the cause. In 2006, its inaugural year, he hosted a celebrity poker tournament with Jay-Z and raised $403,862. According to the Globe, just $5,000 went to Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund and $90 to a Little League Baseball club in Miami.

See the full article by Eleanor Goldberg in the Huffington Post

Lance Armstrong Cuts Ties to Livestrong on Heels of Doping Scandal

Lance Armstrong’s had a hell of a month…  He lost his seven Tour de France titles and his personal sponsors including Nike and Anheuser-Busch on the heels of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency banning him from cycling for life and stripping him of his titles.  He denies doping but wants to save Livestrong, the charity he founded, from further damage due to the scandal.

On October 17th he resigned as chairman, but kept a seat on the board.  And, just last week, Armstrong resigned from the board of directors completely.

The organization still respects the role he has played as a champion for serving cancer survivors.  Although they have cut ties, Livestrong spokeswoman Katherine McLane said that Armstrong “remains the inspiration” and is still its largest donor with nearly $7 million over the years. Read The Rest