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Former student killed in Las Vegas massacre

Fresno State alumna Kelsey Meadows was killed on Sunday in Las Vegas’ mass shooting on Sunday, which is the largest and deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

According to the Associated Press, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock killed 59 people at a concert during the Route 91 Harvest Festival near Mandalay Bay hotel and casino. The number of wounded victims rose to 527.

Meadows, 28, earned her bachelor’s degree in history in 2011. In 2013, she earned her social science single subject teaching credential, according to Fresno State.

Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro announced that Meadows’ memory will be honored with a flag tribute on the day of her funeral services. That date has not yet been announced.

“We are saddened by this tragic loss of such a promising young life,” Castro said. “I extend my deepest condolences to Kelsey’s family, friends and colleagues as well as the faculty and staff she knew here at the University,” he added.

In a news release sent to the university Tuesday, history professor Lori Clune, said she remembers Meadows as “a gifted teacher who demonstrated a skill and passion for her chosen profession.”

Clune said Meadows, who was a substitute teacher at Taft High School, demonstrated skill and passion for teaching.

“Although Kelsey was in a large class of 40 students, I distinctly remember her. She contributed thoughtfully to class discussions; wrote terrific, penetrating papers and earned a well-deserved A,” Clune said.

Dr. Michelle Denbeste, dean of the College of Social Sciences at Fresno State who was chair of the history department when Meadows was a student, said the College of Social Sciences is devastated about the loss and that Meadows will be remembered as a friendly and cheerful good student.

“We care deeply for the success and well-being of our students, and we are heartbroken to learn one of our own was a victim of this tragedy,” Denbeste said. “We will extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends.”

As families mourn their loved ones who died and friends and communities seek to help, the Better Business Bureau is offering tips for those who want to donate to charities to help victims with tragedy-related needs.

The BBB Wise Giving Alliance warns of scammers taking advantage of donors in moments of vulnerability. Donors are encouraged to donate thoughtfully and avoid those who seek to take advantage of trusting donors.

The bureau offered 11 tips for safe and trusted giving:

  1. Take your time to check out the charity and avoid wasting your time donating to a “questionable” or “poorly managed effort.” Visit Give.org to verify if a charity meets the BBB Standards for Charitable Accountability.
  2. Crowdfunding can often be difficult to verify its trustworthiness. For tips on crowdfunding, visit Give.org.
  3. If you decide to create a fundraising campaign for a family, person or organization, make sure to get permission to use their photos.
  4. Nearly all states require charities to register with a state government agency, often a division of the State Attorney General’s office. If the charity you are looking to donate to is not registered, the BBB says it can be a red flag.
  5. Be sure to know where the donations are going. Ask yourself: Where are the donations going? How will it help the victims’ families?
  6. Know the difference between assistance funds and a charity. Charities will often use a bank to transfer the donations to a certified public accountant (CPA), or lawyer, to disburse for tragedy-related needs.
  7. Tragedies that involved violent acts with guns may generate donation requests from advocacy groups. The BBB says you can donate to the groups, but ask sdonors to note if they are tax exempt. They also warn of newly created advocacy groups because it may be hard to verify their legitimacy.
  8.  Never click on links to charities in unfamiliar websites, text messages or email. The link may take you to a look-alike website where it asks you to provide personal information. The BBB says do not assume charity recommendations on social media have already been confirmed as safe.
  9. After funds are raised for a tragedy, the BBB says it is important for an organization to provide accounting of how funds were spent. Transparent organizations will post information to their websites so anyone can find it.
  10. The BBB says it is up to donors if they want to give to a newly created or established organization. The established organization often is well-managed and has a track record that can be evaluated.
  11. Not all organizations that collect donations are tax exempt as charities under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The BBB says donors can support these organizations. But should keep their exemption status in mind. Campaigns that only allow donors to help a specific individual or family are not deductible as charitable donations.