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Use caution when donating to Kansas City shooting victim fundraisers


Online fundraising has started for the victims of the Kansas City Super Bowl parade shooting but experts say donors should be cautious about where they're giving.

Khesha Duncan, Columbia Regional Director for the Better Business Bureau, says do your homework. "I realize it's a little difficult because this has come up so quickly to check to see if their own particular charity" is on an approved list, Duncan said.

The Better Business Bureau provides multiple websites where people can verify charities. People can also go to BBB's charity affiliate to search for legitimate fundraisers.

Police say 23 people were shot when gunfire erupted during a dispute outside Union Station following the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl parade Wednesday. A woman died and two juveniles have been charged in the shooting.

Duncan also suggests you find a phone number and speak to the person organizing the fundraiser and ask them why they created it.

"Where is it located? Does it have a physical location?" Duncan said. "That's very important to know there is a physical place instead of you're just donating out into the ether or a P.O. box, you want to verify that and find out how the money is going to be used. Exactly how are you planning to use this money? What percentage or what part?"

United Way of Greater Kansas City spokesperson Kera Mashek said to make sure it is an organization that you are familiar with and that it is a 501(c)(3), which means the organization had to file paperwork and be vetted by the IRS.

"You can also do additional research through websites like Charity Navigator to make sure that that organization is a good steward of the finances that you pledged to them," Mashek said. "So those are all things that you can do just as a good check and balance to make sure that the money that you are utilizing is going to where you want it to go."

GoFundMe has created a centralized hub that holds all verified fundraisers related to the shooting. The site will be periodically updated.

GoFundMe has three donation pages for the victims of the shooting, including one for Elizabeth Lopez-Galvan, the woman who was killed, that has already eclipsed $200,000.

United Way of Greater Kansas City has also created a fundraiser to help those affected by the shooting.

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Jazsmin Halliburton


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