How to give wisely to hurricane victims

workers sandbagging
Employees from the City of Deerfield Beach Environmental Services fill sandbags for residents on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, in Deerfield Beach, Fal. The city gave out sandbags to residents of Deerfield Beach in preparation for Hurricane Matthew, which is forecasted to hit South Florida late Thursday or early Friday. (Maria Lorenzino/Sun Sentinel via AP)

Over the next few days there will be a lot of organizations asking for donations for Hurricane Matthew victims, and they really need your help.

As you give, keep in mind, it’s important to find out how much of your donation actually goes to the cause.  You can find that out by calling the organization, or better yet on sites like

Charities like the American Red Cross allow you to choose where you want donations to go. So for Hurricane Matthew victims, you can choose places like Haiti, Jamaica, Florida, Georgia or the Carolinas.  Heather Kanipe with the Red Cross says monetary donations are most helpful because they allow the Red Cross to fulfill more expensive needs like housing.

If you have stuff in your home that you’d like to donate, the Red Cross asks that you not bring it to the hurricane shelters. Instead give it to their partners like the Salvation Army or Miracle Hill that are used to processing in kind goods.

“We’ve had a real problem with that in other disasters especially Louisiana, I mean you’ll get mounds of things. And they don’t understand the manpower that it takes to be able to sort distribute and store those items and make sure they’re safe,” said Kanipe.

Wherever you give, beware of scams like look alike charities.  Sometimes they will steal logos of real charities, so make sure the site is secure with a lock and https in the url.

Tony Ivey, who volunteers with Mission Haiti also says, don’t overlook the smaller charities.

“If an organization speaks to you, and you looked at their website and how long they’ve been in there, by all means donate to the organization because they could certainly use that money just as much as a large one can,” said Ivey.

Here are a list of some trustworthy charities that are helping Hurricane Matthew victims.