Guest Column

Give, but give wisely during the holidays

give wisely by Teresa S. Maher
At the end of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, even that old miser Ebenezer Scrooge found his giving spirit.
   Giving to a favorite cause can put you in the holiday spirit, too, and many charities hope you will add them to your gift list.
   However, there are some unethical groups that may try to cash in on your generosity to benefit their own pocketbooks.
   Charity appeals may come in the mail, by phone, or in person. The Better Business Bureau offers the following do's and don'ts to help you make wise giving decisions.    A charity report from the BBB can tell you how long the charity has been in operation, if they received complaints in the past, and how they responded to the complaints. It also can tell you how much of the charity's income goes to the actual cause.

Teresa S. Maher is the Director of Communications for the Better Business Bureau of Western Washington (BBB).