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Give - but give wisely

October 18, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

One of life's hardest lessons to accept is that where most of us see tragedy, there are others who see opportunity.

That is seldom more true than in the wake of a natural disaster.

According to numerous news accounts, looters are among those picking up the pieces in the wake of Hurricane Michael and the pieces they are scavenging are the scant leavings of the Category 4 storm that ravaged Mexico Beach in the Panhandle before making its way through parts of Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.

Looters are the overt face of humanity without heart.

The scammers are the more subtle thieves and law enforcement agencies and consumer advocacy groups are issuing their usual warnings: If you plan to give, give with care.

That means donating to known charities and organizations as the web is rift with fake groups hoping to siphon well-intentioned contributions for those sorely in need.

Last week we published a short list of local organizations that are collecting donations, including cash donations, which allow for the greatest flexibility in meeting needs.

Among them are two solid standards, the Southern Gulf Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Harry Chapin Food Bank, both of which immediately mobilized with supplies and volunteers in the wake of the storm.

The American Red Cross suggests financial donations. Contributions may be made by visiting, or by texting Michael to 90999.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is a member of Feeding Florida, the association of Florida's 12 food banks, all of which have responded to requests for assistance in the Panhandle.

Harry Chapin will be collecting monetary donations through the end of October.

Those who would like to make a contribution to Hurricane Michael relief and recovery efforts, can send a check or financial donation to the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Donations designated for Hurricane Michael relief will be passed on to Feeding Florida or sister food banks in the affected areas.

Send the donations to the Harry Chapin Food Bank Fort Myers or Naples locations:

-Fort Myers Distribution Center, 3760 Fowler St., Fort Myers, FL 33901

-Collier County Center, 3940 Prospect Ave., Unit 101, Naples, FL 34104

Two other organizations in the Cape have also stepped up to help those in need in the wake of Hurricane Michael.

The German-American Club, which is celebrating Oktoberfest this weekend and next, is has added a disaster aid drive for victims of Hurricane Michael.

Free admission will available each Sunday only, between noon and 3 p.m., to each person who brings in three or more non-perishable or disaster relief items.

Donations can also be dropped off at the club daily between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Cape Coral Animal Shelter - still in need of donations itself for its building fund - collected pet supplies and will deliver them to humane societies of Leon, Bay and Franklin counties.

The organization is continuing to accept monetary donations for its Panhandle "pet aid" effort.

Donations may be mailed to:

Cape Coral Animal Shelter

For Hurricane Michael Pet Aid

1217 Cape Coral Parkway East # 235

Cape Coral, FL 33904

Be sure to mark donations specifically for Hurricane Michael Pet Aid if that is where you would like your contribution to go.

For most of us, our reaction to tragedy is to give what we can.

For those still planning to give, we urge you to do so wisely so those in need - and only those in need - benefit.

-Breeze editorial



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