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Looking to help Ukraine? Know where your donations are going

Posted at 10:46 AM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 18:30:59-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Even half a world away, it's hard watching what's happening to people in Ukraine. The more it tears at your heartstrings, the more you may reach into your wallet to help.

However, choosing where to donate can be tough because not everyone is in it for the right reasons.

Leslie Blackwell with the Better Business Bureau said you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Can the charity get to the impacted area? Not all relief organizations will be positioned to provide relief quickly. See if the charity already has a presence in Ukraine.
  • Should you send clothing and food? Local drives to collect clothing and food to send overseas may not be practical as the logistics and timing to deliver and disperse such items will be challenging. Relief organizations are better equipped to obtain what is needed, distribute it effectively and avoid duplication of effort.
  • Does the relief charity meet BBB Charity Standards?  You can verify a charity’s trustworthiness by viewing an evaluative report completed by BBB Wise Giving Alliance.
  • Is the charity experienced in providing emergency relief? 

"If you're getting ready to donate, again, check them out, do your research. Have they been accredited? Are they legit? Is the money really going to go to the people that it's intended? [On BBB Wise] you can do so much, you can look at all their financials [and see] how much actually goes to the people versus administrative costs," said Blackwell.
Related: Crisis in Ukraine: here's how you can help