San Diego

Helpful Tools to Use Before Donating to Organizations This Holiday Season

Meals on Wheels of San Diego County said good Samaritans should research organizations they are interested in helping to ensure their time and money is really going toward the cause

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This year more than ever, the gift of giving should be top of mind. Whether it’s donating to a local charity or donating your time, every little bit helps.

When you are ready to give back to your community, however, it’s important to do research before signing that check or vowing to make time to help that organization to make sure your money and time will be well spent. 

Local non-profit Meals on Wheels of San Diego County helped NBC 7 put together a list of things to consider before you dedicate funds or time to an organization.

Before you donate to an organization, make sure to do your research.

There are free resources online like the California Attorney General’s Registry of Charitable Trusts or the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance that'll give you valuable information on different non-profit organizations.

Also, it's wise to get a good understanding of what the charity does and who benefits from your donation. Try to learn how much of your donation will go directly to the cause.

It’s a great idea to donate food and other items, but only give what charities ask for to make sure the need is there.

Meals on Wheels provides several services to the community, including the delivery of up to two fresh meals a day to households, as well as conduct wellness and safety checks.

This is one organization that’s seen a significant increase in demand since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of their clients are at least 60 years old and the organization even serves 18 clients who are over the age of 100!

So as you can imagine, the demand for these services has gone way up.

Meals on Wheels has seen a 46% increase in demand and its leaders said they really couldn’t do it without help from their volunteers.

“We have about 3,000 volunteers that we use on a regular basis," said Brent Wakefield, President & CEO of Meals on Wheels San Diego County. "They’re huge to us and if they weren’t here, my budget instead of $6 million a year would be $9 million a year. That’s how much money our volunteers save us and that’s how precious their help is to us."

Meals on Wheels said volunteering is still very important, even in a pandemic.

The organization has some very safe options like being a delivery driver or calling a senior each week on the phone. For more information on how to help the cause, click here.

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