Those in need search the Internet for help - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/28/09

Those in need search the Internet for help

By Ben Lawson  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It appears more people are turning to the Internet for financial assistance. Many are posting their stories to web sites, specifically designed for "cyber begging."

One of those sites is called cyberbeg.com, and on the site it says they've raised more than $23,000 already. Many of the stories are heart wrenching.  They're people desperate for a miracle. Some say they've lost everything, and children will have to go without.

Most postings are anonymous, which experts say adds to the appeal of cyber begging. Here's the thing, cyberbeg.com itself says they cannot guarantee that any beggar is legitimate and they make no claim that they are. They also say they don't censor what people submit and cannot be held responsible for content.

"There's now way to check the truthfulness of a lot of these cyber begging stories; a good check for people is within an organization you know that there's a certain amount of accountability there with non-profits," Michelle Meeks with Lubbock Area United Way said.  

She says non-profits are more structured, and you can check to ensure your donations are going to what they say they're going to. When donating to charities, the Better Business Bureau suggests giving to organizations that use less than 35% of donations for administrative costs.

"If there's a particular story, you know, there's lot of need here in our local area, and we'd be happy to help potential donors looking to that, and that way they know their money is being used for a specific purpose and also they see the effects of it," Meeks said. 

Meeks also suggests giving your time to help instead of money. (Click Here) to learn more.

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