In times of natural disasters, we are often deluged with emails, phone calls, and personal solicitations for donations to help those in need.  Unfortunately, disasters such as the one currently being experienced by our fellow citizens in Texas also bring out many donation scammers.  So, the question becomes how do you determine if the charity requesting funding is legitimate and what your donations are being used for.  The best recommended website to check and verify the validity of a charity, the costs, overhead and where the funds collected go is Charity Navigator.  You can access this site by clicking on https://www.charitynavigator.org/ 

Additionally, this was received by PPOA from Houston PD which may be of interest to SRA members.   Anyone wishing to donate, instructions are in the body of the message.

Attention PPOA Members, the following is an urgent appeal from the president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union. As you know, Houston is being pounded with catastrophic flooding and the governor says the worst is not yet over.  Please join us in supporting our brothers and sisters in Texas. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Brian Moriguchi PPOA President

To Our Brother & Sister Officers:

As you know, the City of Houston is amid a catastrophe like we have never seen before. The scope of the damage will not be determined for weeks, maybe longer. We have already lost so much including Sgt. Steve Perez, a 34-year veteran of the Houston PD, who drowned in his car trying to get to work at 4 am in the morning on Sunday, August 27th. So many of you have reached out to ask how you can help and we are very grateful. Right now, sending money to assist those officers who lost their homes and/or vehicles is the most helpful for us. We ask that you send donations to “Assist the Officer, Inc.” a 501 (C)3 charity established 30 years ago in Houston to provide aid to law enforcement people during these kinds of disasters. (www.assisttheofficer.com). There is a link on the site for Harvey Relief. I can assure you that 100% of whatever you send will go directly to Houston-area law enforcement people who have suffered severe losses from the floods. Upon request, we will be happy to provide you with a complete report on donations and expenditures if you need it. We will keep you updated on the situation as it progresses and please accept our heartfelt thanks for whatever you can do to help us. If you have suffered a loss in this terrible incident, please just send your prayers. Make your check out to: “Assist the Officer, Inc.” and indicate on the check that the donation is for “Hurricane Harvey Relief for Law Enforcement.” Mail it to Assist the Officer Inc., 1600 State Street, Houston, TX 77007 Thank you and God bless. Ray Hunt, President Houston Police Officers’ Union