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      A consumer alert for charitable givers

      There are a lot of pitfalls when giving. Fortunately, there are many deserving charities who are good stewards of money. The Better Business Bureau, a national watchdog that protects our rights as consumers wants us to make sure we??re giving to trustworthy charities.

      Janna Kiehl, the CEO Better Business Bureau of Amarillo says that "when youre giving money to a charity, you want to make sure that they money is going directly to the cause."

      A lot of times the money that you donate if you don??t do the checking may go to a for profit telemarketing firm as opposed to going directly to the cause.

      Charities come in all shapes and sizes, but the Better Business Bureau advises against giving cash, making text donations, and giving online on a non-secure website. When telemarketers call you, be sure to ask if they??re working directly for the charity or actually part of the non-profit.

      While there??s a great deal of dubious charitable organizations, this should not discourage you from giving. There are many deserving charities that need your help. The High Plains Food Bank in East Amarillo depends on your donations to feed the hungry, and uses over 90% of their money towards their mission.

      If you want to make sure that your dollars count at www.bbb.org