People can vote for as many essays as they choose, but only get one vote per essay. Students are encouraged to share their essay with friends and family or on social media to generate more votes. Only votes from the scholarship website will be considered. Only one essay per state will be chosen to receive the $2,000 scholarship. 

Ashley Ann Green – Colony High School

When donating to a charity you want to make sure you are giving to a credible organization. There are many tips and tricks to help you avoid donating to false organizations and make sure your donations go towards the cause you support. Small simple steps can help make sure you are not donating to a scam.

When looking for an accredited charity to donate to make sure you do your homework. Be sure to visit the website of the charity, and look for information on the programs they support. Also be sure to look at the organizations ratings and reports from prior donors and official websites (give.org, charitywatch.org, etc). This will help give you a better idea if your donation is going towards the cause. Also be sure when looking up an accredited organization look to see what percent of donations go towards the program you wish to support. See if the organization is a non-profit and what percent of your donation goes towards the cause and how much goes towards upkeep of the organization.

Another trick is to be cautious on donating over the phone. Donations over the phone can be risky if you are too hasty with the decision to donate. Be sure you are clear on the organizations name and what they support. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you do not understand. Ask questions, such as where is my donation going, what causes do you specifically support, and any other questions you would like to know. Also be sure you do your homework on the organization that called, check their accreditation, reviews and reports.

Remember there is no pressure to give to the organization right away, do your due diligence on making sure it is a legitimate organization. Also it is your decision on whether you give your credit card number over the phone. Be sure you are giving to a legitimate organization before you hand over that information, you can always donate later online after you have done your research.

Donating to charity is a wonderful act of kindness, but just be careful that your donation is going towards a good cause and not a spammers bank account. Be sure to do your homework and verify your organization is legitimate before you make a donation. Do your due diligence and look up your organization to verify your donation will go towards something you support. Taking the time to verify an organization will help make sure your donation goes towards a cause you support.

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