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The issue with Hurricane Harvey donations

Members of the Red Cross continue to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey area while also trying to organize the mass amount of donations received at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. (Photo courtesy American Red Cross)

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We know Americans are generous and want to do everything they can to help after a disaster.

Unfortunately, collecting and sending food, clothing and other household items often does more harm than good. Instead, the best way to support disaster victims is with a financial donation.
It takes time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute donated items, which diverts limited time and resources away from helping those most affected. In contrast, financial donations can be accessed quickly to support those affected, and be put to use right away. With a financial donation, individuals can buy what they need and want.
Storing donated items can also result in thousands of dollars in warehousing, cleaning, transportation and handling fees – whereas financial donations allow us to be flexible to give those directly affected by Harvey what they need most.

Our first priority is the safety and well-being of those affected by disasters. Unfortunately, some well-intentioned donations of clothing or other items may be inadvertently soiled or dirty, which can cause illness. Financial donations don’t pose any health risks and can be used right away to replace items like medications and reading glasses.
Before collecting or dropping off donations of food, clothing or household items, please call to see if these items are needed. On some occasions, the Red Cross will accept donations, except for homemade food, at our shelters.
American Red Cross Headquarters

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