So you Back the Blue, you hand your pocket change through the car window to the firefighters passing the boot around at intersections – but what about all those calls and letters you get, asking for donations for this firemen’s charity, and that policeman’s ball? You don’t know whether to be annoyed or moved.

As of this month, you can get help on line in deciding where and whether to give to those kinds of charities. The Texas attorney general’s office has launched a web-based tool that lets you figure out who’s legit and who’s not in the world of law-enforcement telephone solicitations. Just go to the LETSA page (what program could succeed without a catchy acronym?) on the attorney general’s web site.


You can type in the name of the outfit you’re thinking about giving to (or hanging up on), or you can look at the full list of groups that are registered with the AG’s office, as required by law.

Wondering about other charities? In January, AG Greg Abbott’s office fired up a broader charity search function that gives you financial information on all kinds of Texas do-gooder groups. There’s a dark gray box in the middle of the page; choose “researching a charity.” And have a scam-free summer.