QUESTION:  I am a believer in sharing and give to a number of charities.  However, lately I am beginning to question how much of the donation, if any, is actually going to those that the charity claims they are helping.  Any suggestions?

  ANSWER:  My first thought is give to a charity that you are familiar with.  Every community has organizations that assist their residents.  This is a personal way of sharing and helping those in your local area.

  Next I suggest that giving to those charities or organizations that advertise on television, or make telephone requests, or ring your door bell should be fully researched before making an emotional spur of the moment decision to make a donation.

  Also be very cautious of contacts by email or social working sites.  Be aware of copy cat names that copy reputable charities leading you to believe you are dealing with a well known organization.  Most legitimate charities maintain websites ending in .org rather than .com.

  In your research ask a lot of questions about the organization itself, ask for their registration number and web address.  Also inquire as to how much of a donation goes to those in need and how much is used for expenses.

  Do an online search of the particular charity with the word “complaint” included to see if they have had previous complaints registered against them.

  After completing your research if you decide to donate your donation should be by check, never cash.  The check should be made out to the organization itself never to an individual.  Never provide any personal information to the individual solicitor.  Your check should be mailed directly to the organization.

  A final step in your research should be to look up the charity on Charity Navigator at

  I hope these suggestions will help.



  MONDAYS – starting March 5 – 11:15 am to 12:45 pm – 6 week Meditation series – “Relieve Stresses & Promote Wellness through Meditation” – at Agoura Hills Recreation & Event Center, 29900 Ladyface Court in Agoura Hills.  Series fee is $25.  To register call (818) 597-7361.

  WEDNESDAY – March 7 – 1:00 pm – Los Robles Hospital Senior Care Specialist will present – “Navigating Health Care Continuum Beyond Hospital Walls” – at Thousand Oaks Council on Aging Meeting, Civic Arts Plaza, Board Room, 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard. 

  THURSDAY – March 8 – 10:00 to 11:30 am – Seminar – “Will You Pass Your Next Driving Test?” – at Agoura Hills Recreation & Event Center, 29900 Ladyface Court in Agoura Hills.  Call (818) 597-7361 to register.

  THURSDAY/FRIDAY – March 8 & 9 – 8:30 am to 12:30 pm – 2-day AARP Driver Safety Class – “Initial 8-hour Smart Driver Course – at Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks.  Cost is $15 for AARP members; $20 for non-members.  Reservations can be made at (805) 381-2744.

  SATURDAY – March 10 – 10:00 to 11:30 am – Seminar – “Dementia 101 – What You Need to Know” – at Cypress Place Senior Living, 1200 Cypress Point Lane in Ventura.  Norma Featherston a geriatric care consultant will address a variety of important topics regarding dementia.  For reservations call (805) 650-8000.

  MARCH:  Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association diabetes classes – Wednesday March 7 – 10:30 am to noon at Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi, 2:30 to 4:00 pm at Camarillo Community Center, 1605 Burnely Street and Tuesday March 6 – 1:00 to 2:30 pm at Livingston Memorial Community Room, 1996 Eastman Avenue in Ventura.  For information call (805) 642-0239.  No reservations are required.


  Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns.  The advocates are located at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 or call (805) 495-6250 or e-mail (please include your telephone number.)  You are invited to submit questions on senior issues.

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