Florence: How to help in the Triangle, and not fall for a scam

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As flooding continues and thousands of North Carolinians are displaced from their homes because of Hurricane Florence, people are looking for ways to help. With food, money and volunteer time, there are many ways to offer relief to those affected by the storm.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s office reported Monday that 2,600 people and 300 animals had been rescued from flooded areas and more than 15,000 people had sought refuge in shelters. On Monday, 23 truckloads of food, water and supplies were shipped to Wilmington, he said.

How to help

North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund: nc.gov/agencies/volunteer/disaster-assistance

The University of North Carolina football team has offered its 18-wheel equipment truck to take non-perishable food and supplies across the state to victims of Hurricane Florence.

The university will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items, pop-top canned goods, water, diapers, flashlights, batteries, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items. from the public through Friday, Sept. 21, then deliver the supplies.

Bring donations to Williamson Center parking lot, 450 Skipper Bowles Drive, Chapel Hill. across the street from the Dean Smith Center on Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. They’ll accept donations Tuesday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., and on Friday from 7:30 a.m. until noon from the public through Friday, Sept. 21, then deliver the supplies.

Duke University football team is partnering with Marrin’s Moving for Florence donations. Items needed are: buckets, paper towels, large garbage bags, rubber gloves, masks, scrub brushes, scouring pads, sponges, air freshener, toiletries, hand sanitizer, shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, hand soap, adult diapers, disposable razors, shaving cream, toilet paper, diapers for babies, baby wipes, baby food, baby formula, sippy cups and bottles, bottled water, nonperishable food items and school supplies.

When and where:

Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Sept. 18 until Sept. 28: Donations accepted at the Duke Athletics ticket office in the Scott Family Athletics Performance Center, 110 Whitford Drive in Durham.

Saturday, Sept. 22 starting at 12:30 p.m. before kickoff at the game against N.C. Central University. Donations will be accepted at the Duke Athletics ticket office in Scott Family Athletics Performance Center, the East Ticket Booth near the Wilson Gate or the West Ticket Booth near the Powers Gate.

Saturday, Sept. 29 starting at 5 p.m. before kickoff at the game against Virginia Tech. Donations will be accepted at the Duke Athletics ticket office in Scott Family Athletics Performance Center, the East Ticket Booth near the Wilson Gate or the West Ticket Booth near the Powers Gate.

With every three items donated, fans can buy tickets to the Duke vs. University of Virginia game on Oct. 20 for $5.

American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-florence-donations.html/

Facebook is matching American Red Cross donations made on the Hurricane Florence Across the Eastern United States crisis page or through the donate button on the top of Facebook users’ news feed. Facebook will not match donations to American Red Cross made through other Facebook fundraisers.

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World Central Kitchen wants volunteers:

“Come and help our Food First Responders to prepare meals for those impacted by Hurricane Florence. We need helping hands to prepare sandwiches, prep and cook meals and many other things,” they posted on their Facebook page. They have kitchens in Wilmington and Raleigh.

To volunteer in Wilmington, text 202-374-3822.

To volunteer in Raleigh: email tim@wck.org

Southern Baptist Convention North American Mission Board:

The mission board has relief efforts by state. Donate or volunteer: namb.net/hurricane-florence/. In North Carolina, they have hot meal kitchen stations set up in Washington and New Bern this week.

World Beer Festival Durham will donate $10 for every ticket purchased through Friday, Sept. 21 to Hurricane Florence relief. World Beer Festival Durham will be held on Oct. 6 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. worldbeerfestival.com/durham/.

Donate to New Bern

Participants and supporters of the annual Historic New Bern MS Ride are asking for non-perishable food and water, non-prescription medications and first aid supplies, household paper supplies, pet food and cat litter, baby food and diapers, cleaning supplies. Donations can be dropped off at Carolina Brewing Company in Holly Springs, Cycling Spoken Here in Cary, the Glass Jug Beer Lab in Durham, the Hibernian Pub in Raleigh, the MS Society in Raleigh, Performance Bike in Cary, Precision Autowerks in Raleigh and Raleigh Brewing Company in Raleigh.

Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina

Serving some of Hurricane Florence’s hardest hit counties, the food bank is asking for money and food donations. Its website has a page to donate funds. To donate food, visit one of the distribution centers in Durham, Raleigh, New Bern, Greenville, the Sandhills/Southern Pines or Wilmington. There is also an online food bank.

The food bank is requesting high-protein canned meals, like meat, fish, beans and soup, paper goods like paper towels, cups, plates and napkins, diapers, personal hygiene products like soap, toothpaste and sanitizer, non perishable ready-to-eat single serving meals, snacks, peanut butter and cleaning supplies.

Beware of charity scams

N.C. Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall cautioned against donating to charities that may be fake and not actually helping Hurricane Florence victims.

Marshall suggested donating to charities that you know and “whose good works you’ve seen in your own community and that have resources in the affected regions to do the most good.”

She said that The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC and The North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund are some examples.

Here are more tips for donating to charities:

Watch out for groups mimicking the names of established, respected charities.

If you get an unsolicited call, text or email from an organization, research that organization yourself online instead of clicking on links the organization provides. Make your donations directly on the charity’s official website.

Never give your credit card or bank account information over the phone or email.

Be cautious about circulating GoFundMe pages appealing for donations.

Research charities registered with the Secretary of State’s Office, Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division online at www.sosnc.gov/CSL/.

Check Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, and Guidestar.

What to do if you think a charity is a scam:

Write down information or take a screen shot of the suspect solicitation, and then call Secretary of State Charitable Solicitation Enforcement at 1-888-830-4989. You can also call local law enforcement’s non-emergency line.

Staff writer Jonathan Alexander contributed to this story.