BEST WAYS TO HELP YOUR FELLOW AMERICANS DURING THE ECONOMIC CRISIS
Updated February 18, 2009
announces its top-rated charities currently offering services to
the increased number of Americans suffering from hunger, mental
illness, drug or alcohol abuse, homelessness, old age, or others
who are in need of human services during this time of economic crisis.
As the unemployment rate continues to rise and home foreclosures
increase, it is more important than ever that those who are able
lend a hand to their neighbors who need it.
CharityWatch, a leading charity watchdog that issues
letter grade (A+ to F) ratings of nonprofit groups, identifies the
following charities, which are providing aid to people suffering.
These charities have received an A or B
grade based on the portion of their budget going to program services
and their fundraising efficiency.
Note: Links will open in a new
Foundation for Suicide Prevention (A)
Red Cross (A-)
Residents' Committee (A)
(Home for Children & Youth Services) (A)
for the Homeless (A-)
Bank for New York City (formerly Food for Survival) (A-)
for Humanity International - N.O. (B+)
A Jewish Response to Hunger (A+)
Health America (A-)
Alliance to End Homelessness (A+)
Council on Aging (A+)
Army - Central Territory (B+)
Army - Eastern Territory (A)
Army - Southern Territory (A-)
Army - Western Territory (A-)
Y (formerly YMCA of the United States) - N.O. (A)
charities perform favorably in relation to CharityWatch benchmarks:
1) They generally spend 75% or more of their budgets
on program services.
2) They generally spend no more than $25 to raise $100.
Contact your favorite charities to find out the locations
where they provide services and if they provide the specific types
of aid that you would like to fund, e.g., emergency relief, health
care, infrastructure development, education, etc.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Donation:
· Give to newly created charities only
if you have reliable third-party verification of their credibility
and/or have knowledge of and trust the officers and directors of
the new group.
· Do not assume that a claimed celebrity
endorsement is real or that the celebrity has adequately scrutinized
· Give with check or credit card instead
of cash. There is little assurance that coin or currency donations
will actually go to the intended beneficiary.
· Be cautious about giving to individual
victims that show up on covers of magazines or on television. Unpublicized
victims may be more in need than publicized victims who are often
flooded with gifts.
· Be cautious about giving in response
to a telemarketing call. If you decide to donate, make sure you
have reviewed all the information from the charity and ask what
percentage of your contribution will fund the pertinent programs.
For more tips on
giving click here.
SEND A CHECK, NOT GOODS
best way to help is by sending a check. Cash donations enable charities
to buy the most needed types of food, medicine, clothing, shelter
materials and other supplies. By buying relief products locally
or regionally, charities can reduce shipping costs and more rapidly
deliver assistance. Before sending any goods, first contact the
charity to find out if they are appropriate and if it will be cost
effective to distribute them. For example, after the tsunami in
southeast Asia, boxes of donated winter coats, scarves and fuzzy
hats, completely useless items in tsunami stricken nations with
tropical climates, were sent to these nations.