Charities and Scammers Ramp up Efforts in Wake of Typhoon - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Charities and Scammers Ramp up Efforts in Wake of Typhoon

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More than a dozen charities are ramping up efforts to raise money for victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines late last week.

Thousands are likely dead, hundreds of thousands have been displaced from their homes and food and water is running short. As a result, many aid organizations are rushing to help victims with shelter, medical supplies and other necessities.

The Philippine Red Cross and American Red Cross have specific fundraising efforts devoted to the disaster. Those interested in donating can make a contribution at the various Red Cross web sites, as well as through Apple's iTunes.

Fundraising tallies from the American Red Cross, as well as many other organizations, weren't available Tuesday. But some agencies have started to release early figures.

The United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF, said it had raised $3 million from U.S.-based donors by Tuesday afternoon. UNICEF, which estimates that as many as 4 million children were affected by the storm, is aiming to raise more than $34 million to help respond to children and families affected by the disaster.

Save the Children said it had raised more than $1 million in the U.S. so far, a fraction of its $30 million goal. Oxfam America had raised more than $750,000 from thousands of donors by Tuesday afternoon, while the Salvation Army had raised nearly $900,000 from U.S. donors by Tuesday evening, more than double its total a day earlier.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which is tracking corporate donations, had tallied more than $10.8 million in aid from dozens of firms, as of Tuesday.

Like it has in the wake of previous disasters, the Federal Trade Commission is warning donors to beware of possible charity scams. The FTC recommends that donors give to established charities and look for funds that designate specific Philippines disaster relief.

Experts also recommend you check out any organization with the Better Business Bureau, -never- send cash, and don't share personal or financial information unless you're sure the group is reputable.

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