BG’s veterans help flood victims; donators beware GoFundMe scammers

Bowling Green's VFW Post 1298 taking donation drop offs

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Bowling Green VFW Post 1298 served as a donation drop off when the tornado struck.

Now once again, local VFW, American Legion and AMVETS members are stepping up to serve Kentuckians in need.

You can drop off donations at Bowling Green’s VFW Post as a part of the organizations’ “Flooding Eastern KY with Love”.

AMVETS Bowling Green, Post 130 Commander Gerald Mounce said, “It’s been very rough on these people over there. They need everything we can help with.”

Until Saturday, August 13th, you can drop off all kinds of supplies for the flood victims. The VFW especially asked for cleaning supplies, diapers, baby formula, feminine hygiene products, new socks and underwear.

Drop off times are 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. each day.

Cans that do not require a can opener and water donations are specially needed.

AMVETS Post 130 Adjutant Bob Belcher said, “It’s ironic that we’re saying and using the word ‘flooding’ with the devastation that they’ve gone through in Eastern Kentucky, but we want them to know back here how much we truly care about them.

Make a note that clothes donations are not a top need.

“Pretty much anything you think you could use at your house they meet a lot,” said Mounce.

While Bowling Green’s VFW Post is a trusted organization, scammers preying on natural disaster victims can end up pocketing your donation money.

Better Business Bureau Director of Strategic Marketing Whitney Adkins said, “You want to be cautious. Anyone can create a crowdfunding site. Anyone can create a GoFundMe.”

The BBB says that while crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe are cracking down on security, many scammers never get caught. Adkins says the ones who are busted may only get found out months or years down the line.

Adkins says your safest bet is to donate through certified charities

“The safest way to make your donation is through a monetary donation to an established secure charity,” she advised. BBB’s website is one tool you can use to verify established charities.

You can also give to trusted websites like Governor Andy Beshear’s newly launched Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund.

When donating through a crowdfunding website, if you don’t know the person, do your homework. Keep an eye out for signs of catfishing. Adkins says red flags include vague descriptions of where your gift will end up or suspicious pictures easily downloaded from the internet.

In a crisis when donations are a matter of saving lives, please consider helping out; but at the same time, be smart with your generosity.