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      Knowing the do's and don TMts when lending a helping hand

      Juan Gomez has worked with the Salvation Army for seven years. In that time he has helped with numerous disasters like Hurricane Dolly, the flooding of the Rio Grande, and even the devastation in Haiti.

      "I have helped lead a lot of the services in," Gomez said.

      Gomez said he takes pride in the work he does for others.

      "I get to see first- hand what we're doing, where the money goes, and how we're putting your money to work," Gomez said.

      Unfortunately while there are some organizations, like the Salvation Army, legitimately trying to help others, there are others out there looking to make money off of someone else TMs misfortunes.

      "We're going to see an influx of people reporting to be with established organizations and they're going to be asking for monetary donations," Dolores Salinas, with the Better Business Bureau, said.

      Salinas said there are some simple do TMs and don TMts to follow when it comes to donating.

      She said check out the organization with the BBB.

      Ask for an identification card and make sure to pay with a check or credit card.

      She said do not pay in cash or make and impulsive donation.

      She said do not assume the donation you make will be used as it is represented.

      "The best advice I can give is make sure you're dealing with reputable organizations," Salinas said.

      As for Gomez and the Salvation Army"it is too early to tell when they will be able to send someone to Japan with supplies.

      Gomez said they are accepting monetary donations through their website.

      You can go to to donate.

      You can even text your donation to 80888.

      Type in the word ~Japan TM or ~Quake TM and ten dollars will be charged to your next phone bill.