Ignore Grief Profiteers: Donate to Legit Charities

Less than 24 hours after the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech, a number of "grief profiteers" already have moved to register dozens of Web site domain names that include words most closely associated with the tragedy. At least one is even up for auction on eBay.com.

If history is any teacher (hark back to the frenzy that ensued following Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Southeast Asia), some of these sites will be set up by well-meaning individuals to collect donations on behalf of victim families, while others no doubt will chiefly benefit low-life scam artists.

Anyone seeking to donate funds to assist victims of the shooting and their families should consider giving to established charities, such as the United Way. The United Way of Montgomery, Radford & Floyd, the local Virginia chapter of the charity that includes Virginia Tech's home town of Blacksburg, is currently accepting donations to help meet "the intermediate and long-term needs of those affected by the shooting."

Stephanie J. Graham, Director of Community Resources for the chapter, said the group is working to put together a "distribution team" to decide how the funds should be spent, and that it plans to release more information on those plans by close of business today.

"We're currently ironing out which banks that we will be working with locally, who exactly we want to call in on to be a part of the distribution team, and exactly what our support priorities are going to be," she said.

Graham said the she anticipates a good portion of the funds going toward more immediate needs of those affected, such as crisis intervention and counseling. Longer term, the United Way chapter hopes to provide support for funerals and short-term housing for displaced students.

"A lot of students don't have health insurance and a lot of families don't have life insurance to cover things like funeral costs. There's an entire dorm shut down right now on campus, and Blacksburg is a not a major city."

-- Brian Krebs

By Brian Krebs |  April 17, 2007; 2:41 PM ET  | Category:  Charity
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

The system of secur. in my university http://www.mvtu.ru/mstu/English/HistoryE/
If you have not your ID (special document for student with your foto) you can not come in the main campus.It is not free. You have to call in the department before your visite somebody and order special document with your passport.
It easy and cheap system.

Posted by: avto4 | April 17, 2007 05:32 PM

The National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) has developed a guide "Coping With Reactions to Mass Tragedy and the Aftermath" that you may find helpful. It is linked from the Virginia Tech graphic at http://www.trynova.org/

Posted by: weinberk | April 18, 2007 11:02 AM

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