If you're looking to donate or help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, the first thing to keep in mind is to beware of scams.
Numerous fake Twitter and Facebook accounts popped up immediately after the incident, trying to capitalize on the public's willingness to help. Some red flags to beware of include any Twitter accounts that ask for retweets for dollars, or pictures of young children running purporting to be one of the victims.
The American Red Cross is working in Boston to provide help for the victims and displaced families. The organization offers a Safe and Well web site for people in the Boston area to register their status so that loved ones can check and make sure they're OK. Google has also set up a similar Person Finder tool for the Boston area.
Red Cross officials may need blood soon. A spokeswoman with the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago says that now would be a good time to make an appointment to donate. She said the reason enough blood was available in Boston was because of all the donations people had made in previous weeks.
The Salvation Army is also providing support to those affected by the bombings. The organization has set up a mobile kitchen at the staging area for first responders and another at a gathering spot for impacted families. The public is asked to donate money to help buy additional food and beverages. According to a news release, as of Tuesday morning, 1,729 meals and drinks were supplied to the victims, the families and first responders.
The Chicago chapter of the Salvation Army hasn't been asked to contribute resources to the Boston effort, but a spokeswoman says they are on standby if necessary.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry offered the following resources on how to help young people deal with the Boston incident or any other tragedy: