Before getting ripped off by Hurricane Harvey relief scams, check with the Red Cross

This week we witnessed horrendous accounts Hurricane Harvey victims throughout Texas. Our hearts have been broken.

But before you contribute your hard-earned money to Harvey funds, I must warn you: Many scammers will try to take advantage of our good hearts, setting up fake websites, calling, texting and emailing us for donations, any way they can to steal our money. Therefore, we must be vigilant and smart.

The Red Cross has launched a massive relief response to this devastating storm and needs financial donations to provide immediate disaster relief. If you want to help these victims, visit www.redcross.org, call 800-REDCROSS or text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Please be kind and let’s help Texas in these trying times. God bless and pray for our first responders in their efforts.

Citizens’ Crime Watch awards

Citizens’ Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County will hold our 42nd annual awards ceremony on Friday, Sept. 22, at the Doubletree Hotel & Miami Airport Convention Center.

The keynote speaker will be Amos Rojas, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Florida. The master of ceremonies will be DJ Kenny Walker of the morning show on 102.7 The Beach. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz is our honorary chairman.

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Carmen Gonzalez Caldwell

This event is very special because it gives us the opportunity to recognize the many residents in our community associated with our Neighborhood Watch programs across the county, who are helping to make a serious difference in the reduction of crime. They are truly the “eyes and ears” of our local law enforcement.

We also recognize the police officers who work hand-in-hand with these crime watchers to better serve our community. These Neighborhood Resource Officers have truly made a difference by working closely with the neighborhoods.

According to authorities, our crime rate is down, which is good. But many crimes could be prevented if people work together. Therefore our theme this year is “Building Bridges,” so that we can all make a difference by working with police, elected officials and residents. Our crime watchers are trained to look for certain actions, certain irregularities and most of all trained in calling the police, the one thing that most people don’t do!

We are also very pleased that several of our elected officials have stepped up to the plate and are sponsoring tables for many of the crime watchers to attend. We are also excited that many of the municipalities have come on board by participating this year.

Last year, we had over 500 people in attendance, and it was a great evening for new crime watchers as well as older groups in getting to know each other. For those who would like to assist us in this event by becoming a sponsor or participating, you can visit our website at www.citizenscrimewatch.org.