KIYC: Pay attention to what you donate and who you donate to, expert says
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, there’s been an outpouring of charitable donations.
But Kane in Your Corner found if you want your donation to get to those in need, experts urge you to think before you give.
News 12's Walt Kane spoke with charities and experts about how to best donate.
Yuriy Boyechko, of Hope for Ukraine, says that for the past month, donations have been pouring in.
But each storage unit full of goods costs the group about $8,000 to ship.
He says that if you wouldn't wear it yourself, don't donate.
Boyechko also says that cash donations are welcome.
Many donations bound for Ukraine go to Meest America, an international shipping company run by Ukrainian Americans. People at the company say they’d like to be able to ship it all, but right now they need to prioritize and focus on the items Ukrainians need most. Topping the list are durable medical equipment, like hospital beds and wheelchairs. Meest is working with tri-state hospitals to coordinate donations.
Meest says priority items are shipped immediately, for all other aid, the company offers discounted shipping. But it's sometimes still more than donors can afford, in which case if there are organizations that are willing to cover the transportation, they'll ship it.
Kevin Scally, of Charity Navigator, says when it comes to helping people in a war zone like Ukraine, we need to pay extra attention to what we donate, and who we donate to.
"Your best bet is connecting with an organization that's been in Ukraine and the surrounding areas for years, if not decades," says Scally.
Scally says choose a group with a track record of delivering to war zones. Pick a registered charity - it’s the only way you’ll be able to follow the money. And don’t just clean out your basement, find out what the charity wants.
In most cases, in times of crisis, typically, the largest impact that you can make is by making a monetary contribution.