COUNTY ENCOURAGES DONATIONS TO RELIEF EFFORTS FOR VICTIMS OF JAPAN EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI   

(Monticello) — County Manager David Fanslau announced that the County will add links on the County website (www.co.sullivan.ny.us) to recognized charities that have been established to aid the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on Friday.  There is also information provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding fraudulent charities.

“The Earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan are in desperate need of assistance with the basic necessities like clean water and shelter.  Please consider donating to recognized relief efforts if you are able,” said Legislature Chairman Jonathan F. Rouis.

The links to recognized charities set up for Japan earthquake and tsunami relief efforts will be located on the main page of the County website.

“The Citizenry of Sullivan County have showed their compassion for the victims of tragedy on countless occasions, and once again there is a need to call upon our residents to assist the victims of the horrific earthquake and tsunami in Japan,” added Legislature Vice Chairman Elwin “Woody” wood.

“As the Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I have witnessed first-hand the damage natural disasters have unleashed on its victims.  For those that have the ability to donate to relief efforts in Japan, I encourage you to do so, through a recognized charity, to aid the Japan earthquake and tsunami victims,” said Minority Leader Leni C. Binder.

“Sullivan County is a community rich with diversity, and always united with compassion for all.  It is time for all to be thankful for what we do have, and reach out to the Japanese in their time of great need,” said Legislator Jodi Goodman.

As myriad nations offer monetary aid, condolences and rescue teams, many people around the world are seeking ways to ease the burden on the Japanese government and people.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies accepts donations via text message. Text "redcross" to 90999, and you can make a $10 donation to the organization. It will show up on your next mobile phone bill.

The Salvation Army, which has had a presence in Japan since 1895, is sending a team to Sendai to assess damages and hopes to be providing food, water and other necessities by Friday night or early Saturday. In Tokyo, the Salvation Army opened its main building to house and feed commuters who were unable to reach their homes.

The aid organization is issuing updates via its blog, its Twitter feed and Facebook page. It also is accepting donations via text message. Those interested in contributing $10 to the group's efforts can text "japan" or "quake" to 80888.

The group AmeriCares, which is also accepting donations, said it is mobilizing resources and sending an emergency response manager to the region.

Save the Children is sending an emergency team to assist its staff in Japan. Donations to the group's Children's Emergency Fund will help preserve the welfare of young ones.

Globalgiving.com, another aid organization that allows donors to select the causes they want to support – including climate change, economic development, human rights and natural disaster relief – has established a Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. Global Giving will disburse funds to organizations providing aid and relief to victims.

Among those organizations are Save the Children and the International Medical Corps. The Corps, which focuses on "health care training and relief and development programs," presently, is speaking with local partners to determine Japan's most pressing needs. It will send supplies or emergency teams based on those communications.

To contribute to the Corps' efforts, visit its website or text "med" to 80888 to send the group a $10 donation.

Residents are reminded that Internet users who receive appeals to donate money in the aftermath of last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before responding to those requests. Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or a good cause.

Therefore, before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, to include the following:

  • Do not respond to any unsolicited (SPAM) incoming emails, including clicking links contained within those messages.
  • Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.
  • Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by utilizing various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group’s existence and its nonprofit status rather than following a purported link to the site.
  • Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
  • Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes.
  • Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.

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For more information, please contact Legislators at 845-807-0435 or David Fanslau at 845-807-0450.

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