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The actress donated $1 million dollars to the relief efforts of the American Red Cross, PEOPLE reported on Tuesday. Caterpillar has begun shipping power generation equipment from other parts of the country to Texas and other affected areas.

All of the funds will go directly to the American Red Cross which has been providing volunteers, shelters and supplies for those affected by the hurricane. Visit their website to donate or text UWFLOOD to 41444.

You can find shelters by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767), visiting redcross.org or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App.

Victims of any disaster, whether it's a hurricane in Texas or a house fire in Allentown, should deal directly with their insurance agent to see what's covered.

"Periods of natural disaster really bring out the best in people", said Michael Sedio, of the San Diego Better Business Bureau.

The convoy of 33 English-speaking volunteers left from Mexico City for Texas, where they plan to work in Houston shelters for 20 days before being replaced by a fresh crop of volunteers. Better yet, set up a recurring monthly donation to support your chosen charity over time.

But unless you know them, or someone you know does, your money could be wasted.

If you are thinking about donating, make sure you donate to a legitimate charity like the American Red Cross, United Way, or Salvation Army. The amount of each tax deductible donation will appear on the customer's receipt as a contribution to the American Red Cross.

The Krystynaks, who have been volunteering with the Red Cross for almost six years, said they aren't sure what they will be doing once they arrive in Baton Rouge just yet, but they could ultimately be sent to Texas once they arrive. He says he's hoping to provide the one on one approach the organization is known for. If you think it's a legitimate charity and you want to pursue it, you still should not directly link to that site.

Bullock is the latest in a long list of celebrities who have donated to the relief effort, including Houstonian Beyonce. "How are they going to be used?'" Leidinger recommends.

Red Cross President, Gail McGovern, says this is one of its largest relief efforts ever.

PepsiCo, Starbucks, Amazon, Walmart and Lowe's are among other company's pledging donations.


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