Before making donations to public safety, verify

Published 12:05 am Sunday, August 7, 2022

Residents of Rowan County often provide financial support to fire and police departments when they have local fundraisers, but officials are encouraging people to check the validity of solicitations before writing a check.

“We recently had a report of people going in to a business soliciting donations that they said were to support the local fire department,” said Rowan County Fire Division Chief Deborah Horne. “While it appears that may have, in a round-about way, been legitimate, it was not quite the truth, because the money was not going directly back to the fire department. ”

And some solicitations, especially by letter or phone, are even more suspect.

Horne says just to be safe, anyone receiving a solicitation claiming funds are for support of a local fire department should either call that department directly, or call her office.

“I can let them know if it’s valid, and if I’m not sure, I will find out,” she said. Fire departments are funded locally by taxes from businesses, though they do have small local fundraisers, like barbecues or a fish fry, to supplement. Sending out letters, or showing up in person at a business, is not common, and should be checked out before money is donated, just to be on the safe side.

Horne can be reached at 704-216-8916.