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503-378-6002 or Michael.C.Kron@doj.state.or.us
About Ellen F. Rosenblum
Governor Ted Kulongoski and Attorney General Hardy Myers today urged Oregonians who want to help victims of the recent Pacific Northwest storms to respond as generously as they can but to do so carefully when contributing to charitable organizations.
"Many Oregonians will want to help meet the recovery needs of the storm victims," said Kulongoski. "I hope they will do so but will also take care not to become victims themselves and will make contribution decisions that will provide maximum benefit to victims."
During times of natural disaster or other emergency, crooks often try to capitalize on the generosity of others by soliciting funds for nonexistent charities. Even well-intentioned relief attempts may go astray if organizations collecting funds do not have the capacity or infrastructure to deliver goods and services where most needed, or if very little of the funds contributed help serve those in need.
"Oregonians who want to aid storm victims have ready access to a lot of information about charities to aid their making intelligent giving choices," said Myers. "I urge Oregonians to use those sources of information."
Charities lawfully authorized to solicit funds in Oregon are registered with the Oregon Department of Justice. That registration can be confirmed online at www.doj.state.or.us/charigroup or by calling 971-673-1880. Also filed with the Department of Justice are annual reports of registered charities that show how much of a charity's total revenues are devoted to services helping the charity's beneficiaries.
In addition to the Oregon Department of Justice, information about specific charities can be obtained from charity watchdogs at www.give.org, www.charitywatch.org, or www.charitynavigator.org.
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