Shared trauma ignites a sense of unity, compassion for our neighbors and the spirit of generosity. This past week has illustrated what a strong, caring place the Lowcountry is. Our hearts swell as stories of selfless acts undertaken by friends and complete strangers come to light, renewing our belief in the goodness of people.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Matthew has also reminded us that there are those who prey on the vulnerable, scared or uniformed. It’s sad that in our time of need we’re forced to become skeptical and wary.
Just as a hurricane brings out unscrupulous contractors, tree removal companies and other questionable businesses, it can also trigger dubious fundraising schemes. Our generous hearts, injured and exposed, don’t always make the best decisions.
During times of crisis, community support surges. Generosity can be part of the healing process. But before you take out your checkbook, we encourage you to do your homework. Research organizations before you give. Make sure they’re legitimate 501(c)(3) nonprofits, registered with the State of South Carolina. Go to websites like Guidestar to ensure their business practices are strong. For local charities, you can find in-depth information on The Giving Marketplace. Ensure that the money you’re so generously sharing will truly be used to help those in need.
Hurricane Matthew has shown us that the generosity and goodness of the people in the Lowcountry is unmatched. And for that, we’re all grateful.
Denise K. Spencer
President and CEO
Community Foundation of the Lowcountry
Hilton Head Island