BBB urges holiday donors to give wisely

A spokesperson suggests doing research and initiating the gift.
Posted at 9:38 PM, Dec 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-18 00:43:17-05

MERIDIAN, IDAHO — There's no question that giving back feels extra specially good this time of year.

"It just, um, brings Christmas into your heart," said Deborah Smith, Marketing and Business Development Manager at the Village in Meridian.

But no matter how loving you feel in your generosity, Treasure Valley's Better Business Bureau urges you to know exactly where your gift is going.

"There are some charities that are not very well-run, and we see that when we do our, our investigation when we do our research, and in a case like that, they'll take your dollar and maybe just take twenty cents to what you really believe in," said Dale Dixon, Chief Innovation Officer, BBB Northwest.

How to avoid this? Start with doing some research, Dixon suggested.

"Check with Better Business Bureau, the Wise Giving Alliance-- see how this charity is rated in the public, to get ahold of our personal information."

Don't let your emotions blind you, he added.

"It's sad to say, but scam artists love to prey on emotion. And scam artists are using this time of year when we tend to be more generous, to get into our bank account."

And initiate your own gift, he suggested.

"if you're just out and about, and you see the charity, and you stop in and talk to them, 'Hey what are you doing?' ya know, 'Who are you helping, how are you helping?'"

This is exactly what staff at the Village at Meridian did to ensure their Season for Giving drive would put 100 percent of collected gifts in the hands of at-risk children in need at Children's Home Society.

"We researched it, and we have about 300 children that we're trying to get gifts for," said Smith.

And it was a combined effort.

"We made it into a little mouse-house, it's really cute. And it's all decorated for Christmas; has these little cookie shingles on it, and underneath every one of them is a wish-- a wish that one of the children wanted."

One child wanted a new bicycle-- and the Executive Director of Children's Home Society said a donor fulfilled it.

So just because this month-long drive is now complete, holiday generosity is just beginning. Happy giving!