When tragedy strikes, Americans rally to help; How to help victims of Boston bombings

TAMPA BAY - It's been years since Jamie Daniel donated blood. But on her birthday, she sat and watched what happened in Boston.

"It was heartbreaking and heart-wrenching," said Daniel.

Instead of making a wish, she made a promise.  "I will definitely be a more regular donor now," said Daniel.

Daniel learned that Boston does not need blood from Florida.  Donor centers closer to Massachusetts are sending it.  She said it's still important to give.

Dan Eberts with Florida Blood Services couldn't agree more.  He said it's a reminder of what could happen even here.

"Truly the silent heroes in Boston were the donors who gave blood ahead of time to make sure it was on the shelf.  One never knows when tragedy will strike, whether it is man-made or natural disasters," said Eberts.

Blood is just one of many ways people try to help.  Others donate money.  Those with the Better Business Bureau said, sadly, scammers prey on people's generosity.

"It's actually very common," said Bryan Oglesby with the BBB.

To help people,  Oglesby said the BBB created a the Wise Giving Guide.  It's available at the BBB office or online at  http://www.bbb.org/us/charity/ .

"It shows the 20 standards of accountability that charities need to meet. So, we can always provide information about the charities out there," said Oglesby.

Oglesby also offered two key pieces of advice. Do your homework and, "Make sure you are making a good decision on the charity you are choosing.  Making sure the money you are donating, a lot of those funds are going directly to the cause and not to the marketing services of that charity," said Oglesby.

For those who would like to help the victims in Boston, we have posted a complete guide at  http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/about_us/as_seen_on/boston-bombings-how-you-can-help .

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