by Sherri Jefferson

Labor Day is observed during the month September. It is a day that people take time off from work to relax and enjoy family and friends.

However, this year, many families face loss of life and property sustained by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and the impending Hurricane Irma. People far and near feel the impact of the destructive act of mother nature. As the flooding recedes, victims now assess their losses and damages. What can Fayette and Coweta counties do to help victims?

First, let us not become victims of scams. Too often, people generously give to organizations during devastation. Like Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake of Haiti, donors became victims of charitable scams. Consequently, they learned that their donations never reached victims in need.

Some organizations fail to explain that donations do not benefit a specific cause, i.e. Hurricane Harvey Fund. For example, you could donate $10 to the Red Cross, but they can use those funds for any other program or service. This is true for other organizations. Furthermore, a percentage of donations cover administrative and operational cost. These fees include overhead and salaries of the organization’s staff.

Fayette Newspapers is accepting donations that benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey.

We are only accepting non-perishable items: canned goods, rice, beans, clothing, footwear, school supplies, hair care supplies and toiletries for women and girls, reading material, blankets, bedding, baby food, clothing, and supplies, as well as pet food and supplies.

While organizations are demanding that people send money, most of the money never reaches the families in need. The process will ensure that actual goods are available for victims in need of immediate relief.

We are accepting donations until October 1, 2017. Please drop off at our office at 210 Jeff Davis Place in Fayetteville.
If you or someone you know may be a victim of a donation scam, please review the Internal Revenue Service search tools to verify if an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. Also, file a report to the National Center for Disaster’s Fraud.

Let’s remember that September is the Labor of Love month.