Many Fairfax County residents have seen devastating images from Florida following Hurricane Ian. For those who would like to aid the affected Floridians, county officials suggest these ways to make sure donations have an impact:
• Before making a monetary donation, do research and determine whether the recipient organization has a proven track record of delivering aid to those in need.
• Beware of phone calls and e-mails soliciting donations.
• Avoid unfamiliar organizations and Websites. It is an unfortunate reality that charity scams pop up after major tragedies. Charity scams can have Websites that look official with donation pages, but in reality are scams.
Volunteer: If you wish to volunteer your time, make sure you are doing so as part of a recognized response or relief agency. Places such as Volunteer Florida can provide a list of volunteer opportunities, both in-person and virtual.
The Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations in the wake of Hurricane Ian, according to its Website. You can find a blood drive in your area by searching your ZIP code at www.redcrossblood.org/give.html or by calling 1 (800) 733-2767.