Where to Donate to Mexico Earthquake Victims

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helpmexfronttThe powerful earthquake that struck Mexico on Tuesday has killed more than 200 people, and more deaths are expected.

Buildings collapsed across Mexico City, including a school where at least 30 students were believed to have been killed. Rescuers on Wednesday scrambled to dig out people trapped beneath rubble.

Less than two weeks ago, the strongest earthquake to hit Mexico in a century killed at least 90 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

In the aftermath of the earthquakes, New York Times readers have commented on articles and throughout social media requesting information on how to help victims.

Here is a list of local and international organizations that are providing aid.

Topos México is a nonprofit rescue brigade made up of volunteers that was created after a 1985 earthquake. The group posted to Twitter information on how to donate through PayPal and its bank accounts, and thanked people for their support.

Mexican Red Cross has been accepting direct donations online and has set up an Amazon Wish List  for necessary items.

Direct Relief , a humanitarian aid organization, has staff members in Mexico City and has pledged that 100 percent of its donations will go directly to relief efforts, which it says will include facilitating the delivery of medical supplies to affected areas.

GlobalGiving, a crowdfunding organization, has pledged that all money donated to its earthquake fund will go to recovery and relief efforts.

Fondo Unido México , part of the United Way network, has created an emergency fund to help the areas affected by the earthquakes as well as the recent series of hurricanes.

What to Know Before You Donate

Before deciding where to donate your money, don’t be afraid to ask tough questions.

“There are a lot of individuals in times of disaster that will take advantage of the emotional response people will have,” Sara Nason, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator, said in a phone interview.

The Charity Navigator website, which rates United States charitable organizations, is a good place to start when researching a nonprofit, as it does much of the legwork for you. It recently posted a list of reputable charities that are helping in Mexico.

But sometimes it’s good to do your own due diligence.

The American Red Cross, for example, is considered a highly rated three-star organization by Charity Navigator, but it has come under fire in recent years after ProPublica and National Public Radio investigated how it spent money in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. (Read the Red Cross’s response here.) More recently, the Red Cross apologized for having to temporarily suspend registrations for financial assistance for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

For those seeking more information about a particular charity, “digging a little deeper might entail just contacting the organization,” Ms. Nason said.

Ask questions and seek detailed answers. Has the nonprofit explained how it is going to use its funds? Does it have a specific destination for funds donated to relief efforts?

Vetting international groups can be trickier.

“One difficulty that we see in vetting international organizations is that there is no large standardized body that takes in validated information about these organizations,” Ms. Nason said.

Enter GlobalGiving. The crowdfunding charity works with organizations in 170 countries, including Mexico, to deliver much-needed funds to local nonprofits that are doing immediate recovery work.

“Every one of our local partners has been vetted by GlobalGiving,” Alison Carlman, a spokeswoman for the charity, said in a phone interview. “Because we have relationships with organizations on the ground, we can get them money quickly.”

Source: NY Times

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