Charities need cash, not clothing, to help tornado victims
South Plains Red Cross Executive Director Shannon Smith
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -
While many people in Lubbock want to donate household items and send truckloads of donations to Moore, Oklahoma, the Red Cross is saying that could hinder the relief efforts more than help.
"In cases such as Moore and Shawnee, Oklahoma and even in north Texas and Metroplex where they are still recovering from the tornadoes in Granbury and Cleburne, money is truly the best gift," South Plains Red Cross executive director Shannon Smith said.
Naturally when disaster strikes, people want to grab what they can and donate. Smith says while this is appreciated, it really only causes more chaos for those in the area working.
"It's literally a disaster, and they are picking up the pieces literally. Right now in Moore there are no warehouses to store items like clothing, bedding, couches and whatever it might be," she said. "We dealt with this during the West explosions. All the items, semitrucks, trailers all the cars full and packed with items were creating logistic problems. No one knew what to do with it all because there was no place for it."
Many in Lubbock have already started gathering truckloads of donations to send to Moore. Smith says this can still help, just not in the way you might have expected.
"Keep collecting, but turn those times into a garage sale," she said. "Have a garage sale wherever you may be, and get that money in return to donate to whatever philanthropy of your choice."
Smith says if you plan to travel to Moore to volunteer your time, it's better to go with a professional or church group.
"Individuals going to respond individually really and truly creates more harm than good," Smith said. "They need structure there because it is chaos, complete chaos. The larger the group and more partnerships you can coordinate with the better."
Smith says donating money to a disaster relief organization, whether it's the Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Way or churches is truly the best way people can help.
The City of Moore released this statement on Tuesday:
Thanks to all of our friends from all over the world who have called and e-mailed offering support during this difficult time. Due to the overwhelming generosity of our friends and neighbors, the City of Moore is no longer in need of donations. As we move forward in the recovery process, our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the disaster.
At this time, PLEASE make financial donations only, until when and if other types of donations are requested.
Here are several ways you can help the Moore relief efforts:
You can make donations by calling the local office at 765-8534 or 1-800-RED CROSS.
Text REDCROSS to 90999 for a onetime $10 donation to the Red Cross Text STORM to 80888 for a onetime $10 to Salvation Army Text FOOD to 32333 for a onetime $10 to the Regional Food Bank
Checks can also be sent or taken to our local Red Cross. Write Oklahoma disaster relief in the memo to have the money go directly to Moore:
2201 19th Street Lubbock, Texas 79401
You can also mail checks directly to the Salvation Army in Oklahoma: