BBB offers tips on selecting Texas disaster relief charities

Tom Hinde

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises Texans to use care in selecting and donating to charities. "Well-meaning individuals and businesses always want to help in times of a disaster," said Janna Kiehl, CEO of the BBB. "Unfortunately, people with not so good intentions will try to take advantage of the situation." The BBBs are already seeing crowdfunding appeals of a dubious nature, and in the days ahead expect to see "storm chasers" looking to make a quick buck off of clean-up efforts.

The BBB Wise Giving Alliance suggests donors keep several tips in mind to avoid questionable appeals for support. First, verify the trustworthiness of soliciting relief organizations. Second, make sure the charity has an on-the-ground presence in the impacted areas. Third, direct charity to aid providers and avoid money raising groups. Fourth, gifts of clothing, perishable food or other in-kind donations, while well intentioned, are not wise. Last, avoid crowdfunding and give directly to people you know.

The BBB lists accreditited charities that are raising funds for Hurricane Harvey relief assistance. The list includes the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, United Methodist Committee on Relief and several other organizations. Visit the BBB website at for the complete list.