Giving Money Directly to Charities is Now the Best Way to Help

The San Antonio Food Bank still needs diapers and baby food and the San Antonio Blood & Tissue Center is in dire need of blood donations.

Otherwise donate money.  Here's how to make sure you are giving in a way that matters the most:

-Give to established relief agencies

-Timing

Donations often pour in immediately after disaster strikes but peter out during the long recovery process.

Consider saving some of your money so you can donate again in a few weeks or months. Better yet, set up a recurring monthly donation to support your chosen charity over time.

-Crowdfunding

Group fundraising services such as GoFundMe let people raise money for friends, families, neighbors or themselves - as well as for charity. As always, do your homework before giving to a stranger or cause online.

-Hold off on food donations

Donating food, clothing and household items can complicate and even hinder relief efforts, experts say. After Superstorm Sandy in 2012, for example, reports cited relief agencies not knowing what to do with the piles of clothing and other unsolicited items pouring in.

-Consider special needs

Seniors, the disabled,  children and even pets are particularly vulnerable during disasters.  Consider donating to charities that focus on addressing their needs.

The  Texas Diaper Bank, for example, says diapers (whether for babies or  adults) are not provided by disaster relief agencies. Again, these  charities need money.

(KSAT)


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