Humanitarian efforts are being carried out by various agencies to assist those caught in the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that shook Nepal on the morning of April 25, but donors should use caution when selecting a charity.
The global Red Cross network, led by the Nepal Red Cross and supported by American Red Cross, has mounted an international response to provide emergency assistance to those affected by earthquake, which flattened homes and buildings, causing widespread damage across the region and killing more than 2,000 people.
Those wishing to support the victims of the quake can visit redcross.org/donate and select the “donate” option for Nepal Earthquake Relief or call 800-REDCROSS.
Locally, donations can be sent to American Red Cross PA Mountains, Attn: Ken Geary, 250 Jari Drive, Johnstown, Pa. 15904 or call 262-3170.
Officials from The Salvation Army national headquarters said monetary donations are the most critical need for survivors.
The organization has set up a designated fund where 100 percent of gifts go to relief efforts in Nepal.
Those who wish to make a donation can go to salar.my/Nepal online or call 800-725-2769.
Check donations should be designated Nepal Earthquake and sent to Salvation Army World Services Fund, P.O. Box 418558, Boston, Mass. 02241-8558.
The local office of Catholic Charities at 321 Main St. in downtown Johnstown said it cannot accept donations for Nepal earthquake relief, but said donations may be sent to Catholic Relief Services at 933 S. Logan Blvd., Hollidaysburg, Pa. 16648.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kane encouraged residents to consider the following guidelines when making a charitable donation for Nepal relief:
• Be cautious when giving to a charity created in response to this specific disaster.
• Donate to a charity that has a proven history of dealing with large-scale disasters and international relief efforts.
• Be wary of charity messages posted on social media. Do your own research to confirm the legitimacy of the charity.
• If you receive a request to donate via text or email, confirm that the request is from the charity by contacting its office or website.
• Beware of look-alike websites. Fraudsters will set up websites that mirror those of legitimate charities in order to secure personal financial information.
Pennsylvanians who suspect questionable charitable activity or believe they have been victimized by a disaster-related scam can file a complaint with the state Office of the Attorney General by calling the Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555.