How you can donate to support the people of Ukraine
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As the world watches the crisis in Ukraine, many might be wondering how they can help.
News outlets in the capital city of Kyiv report that Russian occupiers are not allowing the Red Cross to enter areas that have been targeted. But there are several Ukrainian organizations that are accepting donations:
UNICEF has staff members in five Ukraine locations. On its website, UNICEF says it is seeking to raise $64 million to provide basic services such as water, sanitation, health care, and schooling.
Razom is a Ukrainian charity with over 3 million followers on Facebook. It is accepting donations to supply the Ukrainian army with medical supplies.
Voices of Children is raising money to support Ukrainian kids living near the front lines.
United Help Ukraine is a U.S.based non-profit that says it sends 100 percent of donations to Ukraine for medical supplies, humanitarian aid, and money for a wounded warrior organization for injured Ukrainian soldiers and their families.
And “Come Back Alive” is a Ukrainian charity raising money for weapons, ammunition, and supplies for the army. The charity posts information on its Facebook page where people in Ukraine can report for volunteer duty and pick up weapons to defend the country.
These charities have been recommended by journalists in Ukraine, but they say getting money to these charities in Ukraine has proven to be difficult. Most ask for donations through PayPal, direct bank transfers, and Facebook.
And just like with natural disasters or even during the pandemic, it’s important to research all charities to make sure they are legitimate before you send any kind of donations. Several have experienced cyberattacks that have shut down their payment systems.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger encourages people to be watchful that their donations go to legitimate organizations and support the intended recipients, and offers these tips you should consider before you donate:
▪Research Online – If there is a charitable organization or cause to which you would like to donate, research online beforehand to ensure the charity is right for you. The Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator, Guidestar, and other websites provide evaluations of different charitable organizations.
▪Check For Charity Filings - Before making any donation, be sure to confirm the organization you are supporting is a legitimate 501(c)(3) charity. Ask for the organization’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) and search it on the IRS website, or look for the organization’s 990 tax filings.
▪Effectiveness Matters – Take the time to look at an organization’s financial situation. Tools available online, such as those mentioned above, will provide you with information necessary to ascertain how much of your contribution will actually go to those in need versus administrative or other costs. Ask what percentage of your donation will go to relief efforts.
▪Do not share personal financial information over the phone – Do not share your credit card, debit card, or bank account information over the phone. Donate by check or credit card, rather than cash. And send the contribution directly to the organization rather than through a third party. If you donate more than $250, the organization should send you a letter confirming the size of your donation.
▪Tax Deductible Donations – If making a tax-deductible donation is important to you, search the database of tax-exempt organizations available on the IRS website. Before making your donation, ensure the charity you have identified is in fact tax deductible. Then, once you have made the donation, be sure to get a receipt for your contribution.
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