Nearly 160 people are still unaccounted for and at least four are dead after a seaside condominium tower collapsed in Miami. And now, the community is coming together to support those affected by the tragedy.
Rescuers used both heavy equipment and their own hands to comb through the wreckage on Friday in an increasingly desperate search for survivors.
Below is a list of a few organizations offering support for victims of the deadly collapse.
The Miami Heat and several local organizations have launched a hardship fund for the victims. Donors can either make a one-time donation or set up monthly payments through PayPal. For more information, click here.
The Chesed Fund
The Shul of Bal Harbour created a central fund that will be donated as needed to victims and their families. Donations to the Miami Tragedy Central Emergency Fund can be made by clicking here.
Greater Miami Jewish Federation
The Greater Miami Jewish Federation launched an emergency fund for families and individuals for short and long-term needs. Click here to make a monetary donation online.
Members of the clergy are on-site at the Surfside Community Center. To reach a chaplain, email email@example.com.
The Shul in Surfside is accepting donations of money and essential items to distribute to survivors. They are accepting the following:
- New underwear (men/women)
- Shorts (men/women)
- Garbage bags
- Reading glasses
Monetary donations can be made here.
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami is collecting monetary donations to assist those affected by the collapse. Donations are being collected through the Catholic Charities' website. Click here to go directly to the page and choose Disaster Relief from the drop-down menu.
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The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection is urging people to beware of scammers who try to capitalize on tragic news events by pretending to be a fake charity donating to the cause.
A spokesperson with the DCP said individuals should be aware of these scams and do their research before donating.
According to the DCP, if consumers get a solicitation from a charity, they should be aware of these signs that it’s scam:
- Pressure to act immediately: If you’re told you must give right away, or you can’t help, it’s a scam. Legitimate charities will always give you the time you need.
- Requirement to pay in an untraceable form: If you’re told that you must pay in an untraceable form of payment like cash or wire transfer, don’t give in. You should always be able to pay via card or check, and get a receipt.
- An emotional appeal: If someone soliciting you tugs at your heartstrings a little too much, and uses a story in an effort to get you to donate without thinking, it might be a scam. You should always get a chance to do research beyond a personal story.
- No contact information: You should always ask where you can get more information through a website, phone number, or email so you can do a little research before you donate. If none of those things exist, don’t trust it. You should always be able to look up the information that you can’t get from someone soliciting you.
- Vague information or impersonation: Sham charities may have unclear names that have buzz words like “veterans” or “cancer” to appeal to consumers who care about certain issues. Even worse, some scam artists will call or send emails claiming to be a popular charity. That’s why you should always ask for more information, and ask for a phone number or website that you can double check before giving.