Officials Want Donations Channeled to Legitimate Charities

bylines By Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA
American Forces Press Service /bylines

news-article WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2001 - DoD officials say they have been inundated by donations of goods and funds, and they want to make sure people are sending their donations to reputable charities.

Below is a list of organizations DoD officials recommend individuals contact to make donations to assist survivors of those killed in the Sept. 11th attack on the Pentagon.

  • Army Emergency Relief Society, Pentagon Victims Fund, (703) 325-0463,
  • Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, Pentagon Assistance Fund, (703) 696-4904,
  • Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund, (303) 933-7580,

Officials asked that anyone wishing to make donations not call the Pentagon Family (Casualty) Assistance Center. "That number is reserved for families," a DoD official said.

Consumer advocacy groups are also warning of several scams that are taking advantage of Americans' outpouring of generosity in the wake of the tragedies. Experts have received several reports of individuals receiving "spam"- type mass e-mails soliciting donations for survivors of the attacks in New York and on the Pentagon.

The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail, a non- profit consumer protection group, said a typical message might contain the phrases "Express Relief Fund" or "Victims Survivor Fund."

"Virtually no bona-fide relief agencies request funds by sending e-mail to people who are not already involved in that agency," the group cautioned in a news release.

Group members recommend that individuals wishing to make such donations contact the agency through another medium to make their donation. That way they won't be taken in by a Web site or Internet address that was made to look like a legitimate site.