The Wrong Donations – Some Tough Words on Disaster Relief

I need to make a statement. I want to say it as kindly and gently as possible, but this message really needs to get out there. It’s important. Please hear me with as much grace as you can, because I mean it with all love and gentleness.

My children and I spent hours yesterday sorting the donations that are pouring in. That picture is the mountain we were faced with, and it was still coming. We’re not the only ones. Hundreds (thousands?) of volunteers all across our state are doing the same exact thing. Why? Because your hearts are in the right place. That’s why.

I want to make that abundantly clear. It is beautifully apparent that you are thinking about us and that you want to help us figure this thing out. You are doing anything you can, and that has brought such profound joy to our hearts. I personally have received love, encouragement, and offers of assistance from all around the world – Iraq, Mexico, the Netherlands, Australia, the Philippines, Italy – to name a few. If that does not show us the true beauty that can still be found in this world, I don’t know what does. People can be stunningly beautiful when they want to be!

You have stood in unwavering solidarity with us. When I say ‘we are Texans,’ I mean all of you, both local and honorary, who have taken a stand for those suffering this week. My heart has literally been beautifully broken a hundred times an hour by your outpouring of compassion. So thank you. From the bottom of the heart of Texas, thank you. Our souls are on fire with HOPE because of you. Not only for our own recovery, but for the future plight of humanity.

So here’s where I get to say the really hard thing. Some of the items you are sending are the wrong donations. Just hear me out. I sorted and bagged (and bagged and bagged) hoards of ‘ugly’ Christmas sweaters…heavy winter coats…lingerie…stained undergarments…prom dresses…

I know your hearts are in the right place and you are rightfully imagining that we have lost everything because many have, but frankly these things do not help us in our current situation. In fact, they hinder our efforts more than a little bit. We do not need coats and sweaters in Houston right now. Believe me, we don’t. It’s 90 degrees and 99% humidity. Send us fans and bug spray, not sweaters. And we won’t for a long time to come because that is our weather all year round. Most of us never owned a single coat to begin with. True story.

And we are pretty much the least sexy area in the entire USA right now. Not a whole lot of time for love making around here. I mean, yeah. We like sex as much as the next state, but most of us are either emotionally spent, living in shelters, comprehending great loss, or working so many long hard hours (in the Texas heat!) that we fall onto whatever bed, air mattress, or piece of concrete we can find at the end of our shift and black out. Lingerie just isn’t a thing right now.

As for the undergarments… Well, I know you are trying to help us in the only ways you know how and perhaps that is quite simply the only thing you can afford to send us. I totally get that and respect and love that you have a servant’s heart to give whatever you can. It’s beautiful, friends. But try to put yourself in the shoes of someone who has lost everything they ever loved and worked for. And then donate like you would want to be donated to. You probably wouldn’t want to receive holey panties if you were hurting like these folks are hurting (although if holey panties are your thing, no judgement). I would wager that you would want to be extended every bit of dignity that you could get in this watery world. New, unstained underwear go a long way to make people feel like…well, people again.

The biggest problem with the wrong donations is that these items are severely hindering our recovery efforts in ways that you can’t begin to imagine. Hundreds of precious man and woman hours are being spent receiving,  sorting, bagging, and stacking these items instead of mucking houses and feeding babies. We need every hand on deck in the most efficient and useful way we can.

Secondly, these unusable items are filling up our resource and rescue centers, leaving little room for things we really need right now. And sadly, many of them will end up in landfills that will already be bursting at the seams with people’s broken lives. We just don’t need that, honestly.

So here’s what you can do. Please, please continue to love us. There are no words to express how much your encouragement means to us. But please, please think before donating. If you come for rescue operations or donation drops, don’t just show up and wander aimlessly looking for something to do. Connect with FEMA and other local aid groups for instructions ahead of time. Vigilante helpers just are not helping, as beautiful as your hearts are. Having a plan or contact will help you and us!

Don’t empty your drawers and bureaus randomly into a bag. Go to sites like Aviators Helping South Texas or FEMA or Will Metcalf’s page and peruse the lists and find out what we really need. Donate financially to local nonprofits so they can buy what they actually need for recovery. Look, even if it’s 2$ it adds up. That gift is just as precious and needed as someone else’s $100. It’s about heart not amount. Supply gift cards to evacuees or those distributing to evacuees so they can buy what they really need. Keep in mind our seasonal situations, hazard situations, landfill situations when donating items. Think about things we need today to get through this right now (cleaning supplies, black garbage bags, work gloves), not things we might need next month or year (prom dresses). Today is all that we can comprehend right now…barely.

When donating items on the lists, please ask yourself if you or someone you loved was in our situation, is this what you would want someone to give to you? When purchasing gift cards, make sure they are VISAS or are to places we actually have down here in our areas. WaWa cards do us little good in Texas.

I am begging you to think before you donate. I know it’s hard to comprehend the situation when you are not here – impossible really. Heck, I live here and can barely grasp what I am seeing.

However, if you take a moment to give the right donations, it will make restoration and recovery that much more possible. In the end, isn’t that what we all desperately desire the most?

And know this. We love you. We thank you for loving us too. You cannot even begin to imagine what it means.

I love you, friends.

Beautifully and brokenly yours,

~Angelia

HELP TEXAS: Want to help our evacuees? We desperately need your help. Go HERE to give to thttp://www.churchproject.org/hurricaneharveyresponsehe Harvey Relief Fund. 

Check out Angelia’s published books here: Champion of Destiny and Sera Oth Berinon

The profit for all book sales in the month of September will go directly to victims of Harvey!

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352 thoughts on “The Wrong Donations – Some Tough Words on Disaster Relief

  1. I have helped with repairs after 3 floods. I have never seen a use for cleaning supplies or bleach and etc. People who say send those items never helped clean up after a flood. Cleaning supplies needed are shovels and wrecking bars. One is not able to clean things, They are all just ripped out and thrown in the trash heaps. This includes floors, walls, cabinets, bathroom fixtures, and etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True. We gutted our house in Biloxi & everything was piled into heaps in the front yard. Nothing to clean. Drills, hammers, shovels, gloves, rubber boots were our supplies.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Please donate to SDA Disaster Relief, that will go directly to the people in need. The acronym is ADRA.
    Also, please join us and pray for all the people affected by Harvey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We escaped Katrina but home was destroyed. The Red Cross in North Mississippi gave us a $600 Walmart gift card to buy supplies. We returned to Biloxi & received nothing but MRE’s. Lived on them for months. Water, a hot meal, a warm shower, a bed would have been heaven. We slept in our car cause we didn’t qualify for a FEMA trailer. We were not elderly, no children or pets. We basically got zero while in Biloxi. The help & donations we did witness for others was from Church groups. Churches from out of state were sending help. Would start there. The government did not step in for a year and a half. I feel your pain. Praying for you. I lived in Houston for 6 years & know that area was hit hard.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I spent several hours yesterday working a collection center. We were working with Trusted World and the donation list is small and specific, including new underwear, new socks, feminine hygiene, etc. We still had people try to bring us their old cloths, which we kindly turned away. But, even following all the guidelines, I know that is the LEAST efficient way to get supplies. The best thing is MONEY! The support agencies can buy more water, cloths, food, etc. at cheaper prices and know what they are getting then us sending trucks of “stuff” from all over the state.

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  4. That had to be a hard article to write, because you know some people ARE going to be offended regardless who sent some of that stuff with the best of intentions and who now will feel like “Well, THAT was all I could do and it wasn’t good enough for y’all, so forget it!” even though I don’t believe you meant it that way. Having been through one of these myself in 2010, I can appreciate where you are coming from. That comes back to why I suggested elsewhere to find an individual family/person who is from there, pick one whom you or someone you trust from BEFORE the flood knows, and try to help them directly rather than swamping these centers with donations of stuff, or just throwing money at random groups whose day job is professionally tugging strings of the heart and then the purse. Some people- heck, MOST people- project themselves onto the imagined needs of those they want to help, hence the warm coats with winter coming, etc. But right now, my experience tells me what most of them need would be A) generators to run everything, B) shop vacs to be able to try and pull out the water and muck once the carpets are yanked out, C) cordless saws and drills that can be recharged from a car’s cigarette lighter/power port, so they have a way to cut out and remove the wet drywall boards off the studs to try and clean them and then dry them out, D) bottles of fungicide concentrate and buckets to mix it in, along with garden sprayers to apply it to the studs to try and cut down on the mold early, E) battery powered rechargable flashlights to be able to work past dark and to keep safe with, F) as mentioned, heavy work gloves and hand trucks/dollys/wagons to haul stuff out to the street with, G) RV-style refrigerators that will run on propane tanks, not only for food but also for storing medicines like insulin, etc. and other medical supplies as people find sharp objects, nails, carpet tacks, etc. in the process of doing all this, H) clean water and/or water filters for everything from drinking to toiletry needs to cleaning, I) paper towels and heat guns for drying off and trying to save whatever family photos they can still find, along with cat litter and black garbage bags to try and dry out any electronics that *MIGHT* still be salvagable like hard drives, etc. if possible, cans of gasoline with some Stabil added to preserve it, because generators and cars don’t run on prom dress donations especially when those are what may be recharging the tools and such, I) tarps, because it IS going to rain again eventually and all that stuff drying out in the yard needs to be covered along with windows, etc., J) non-cooking comfort food, because when you are working your behind off in the heat all day, a box of Twinkes is more useful than a bag of dry beans and uncooked rice, or whatever other “healthy choice” that needs a kitchen to prepare it., K) Drink mixes of different types to make the water a little more palatable (especially for the kids) and L) plug-in power inverters to run what electronics like cell phones, laptops, etc. in your car to try and keep aware of what’s coming next, like the direction of Irma if it follows the same track. That’s the sort of thing WE needed when we walked back into the house in the days after the flood here in 2010 and I can’t imagine that much of it isn’t applicable to the folks there today. The one other thing I would add is that IF they know and trust their neighbors enough, that they agree to have one or two of them keep overwatch in a high spot with rifles while their neighbors are cleaning and then rotate around, just in case things start to get even uglier as people get more desperate. Not ALL of the Trash washed out to sea, and even here we had a group of people come around in an old truck trying to pick up stuff out drying in the front yard and had to “make the point” that it was NOT “trash” and if they didn’t stop, they WOULD BE STOPPED. That argument seems to carry more weight with a shotgun or rifle in your arms with some of them..But when people are focused in on doing the clean-up work, it is easy to get snuck up on if someone ELSE isn’t keeping an eye on everyone on the block for them. At the VERY least, keep something handy to grab quickly if needed to protect yourself and your family on short notice if need be.

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    1. You hve some great ideas. And though Rockport has had some looting issues (and eventually we will), it’s been amazingly quiet in that realm this far. That being said, TX is an open carry state and they pride themselves in exercising that right. Looters here are an extra foolish kind. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Historically, these are the facts about American Red Cross relief efforts according to Snopes.com

    “What is certainly true, however, is that the Red Cross has a controversial history with disaster relief, and that it has been the focus of numerous unflattering investigations about the use of the funds raised in these times of crisis. After the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the Red Cross caused major controversy by initially announcing that not all of the funds raised for those relief efforts would go to 9/11 related activities, as reported by the New York Times in 2002:

    The agency’s first efforts to get aid quickly to people were marked by missteps and delays. The Red Cross’s announcement that it intended to withhold some $200 million raised after Sept. 11 for future disasters provoked outrage among victims and donors and angry Congressional hearings. And the agency, under attack, found itself having to name former Senator George J. Mitchell of Maine as special administrator of its Sept. 11 relief program.

    Their response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, similarly, raised questions about what the Red Cross does — and is actually able to do — with funds raised in the wake of humanitarian crises and disasters. A ProPublica and NPR investigation released in 2014 alleged widespread failure to meet the needs of both Hurricane Isaac and Sandy, which both occurred in 2012:

    The Red Cross botched key elements of its mission after Sandy and Isaac, leaving behind a trail of unmet needs and acrimony, according to an investigation by ProPublica and NPR. The charity’s shortcomings were detailed in confidential reports and internal e-mails, as well as accounts from current and former disaster relief specialists.

    What’s more, Red Cross officials at national headquarters in Washington, D.C. compounded the charity’s inability to provide relief by ‘diverting assets for public relations purposes,’ as one internal report puts it. Distribution of relief supplies, the report said, was ‘politically driven.’

    Most infamous, perhaps, was the Red Cross response to the Earthquake in Haiti, which — as ProPublica and NPR also reported — alleged that the Red Cross ‘Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti and Built Six Homes’. Their main problem, as alleged in this report, was that the Red Cross did not know how to handle the massive funds they were given:

    Lacking the expertise to mount its own projects, the Red Cross ended up giving much of the money to other groups to do the work. Those groups took out a piece of every dollar to cover overhead and management. Even on the projects done by others, the Red Cross had its own significant expenses — in one case, adding up to a third of the project’s budget.”

    And as for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, Snopes.com states: “On 31 August 2017, the Red Cross detailed how it would be spending its funds for Harvey, introducing that documentation with this statement:
    The American Red Cross has been truly humbled by the outpouring of public support for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Working around the clock, the Red Cross is making good use of donations and bringing help where it is needed. Each cot holding a sleeping child, each meal served to a family who is hungry and each blanket a disaster worker wraps around someone wet from the floodwaters is a result of a generous donation. As the storm moves north, flash flood emergencies are in effect throughout the Gulf Coast, and the storm may produce as much as a foot of rain through the end of the week.
    Past controversies aside, there is no evidence that the Red Cross is charging Hurricane Harvey victims for disaster relief services and the Red Cross explicitly states it does not charge for these services.”

    Personally, I gave to another charity, but I wanted to present the facts about the American Red Cross.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are very kind with your words; Having been through the relief effort for the Boles fire in Weed, CA several years back, we were inundated with the same type of donations as you. People need to think “immediate needs”, like the many suggestions above, personal feminine supplies, diapers, new underwear (one of our biggest requests), gift cards to Walmart for clean clothing (not work clothes, prom dresses), nice back packs or duffle bags to collect a few new things in.
    We faced the same pile of grossness and having run a consignment clothing store for over twenty years, I know what people are capable of donating – or offering and they use it as a chance for getting rid of stuff they don’t know what to do with (throw away, please). The thought is “oh somebody could use it” thinking that if you have “nothing” “something” no matter how gross is acceptable. So please encourage your friends and organizations to do the right thing; filling a trailer and hauling it to a shelter is not helping unless you check with the shelter first to see what they need, not what you want to get rid of. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I no longer give to any organized charitable organization. I only give directly to the people in need for the need they have at the time. No it’s not tax deductable. But its appreciated and used. It is amazing that no matter what is done to help, someone feels the need to complain. May you see God in the efforts of those trying to help you.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Would you still need supplies in November? I know folks are sending tons of things now, but what about later? My History Club wants to do something later. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Can you tell me if my child’s AFO (leg brace) that he has out grown can be helpful? And where should I take it to get it to the right people since it is a very need pacific item?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not directly aware of a need, but I saw this phone number for The Partnership in a post regarding assisting people with disabilities during this time of recovery. Perhaps they can connect you to a need. 800-626-4959

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  10. One of our churches is donating “cleaning buckets.” They give out a list of items we can purchase (scrub brushes, reusable cleaning cloths, trash bags, etc), buy a 5-gallon bucket and put all the items into it. The buckets are going to be driven from Massachusetts to Texas to make sure they are distributed.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Not that Rockport should be people’s only focus because so much of Texas was damaged/destroyed, but it’s where I’m from, so I see more about if from my friends and family. However, if people want to donate directly to families, I have several families with go-fund-me publicly on my FB. They have literally lost everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Here is a great Non-Profit organization that you can donate too and it is 100% tax deductible. If you love animals then this is your group. It is located in the Beaumont-Port Arthur Texas area.

    I am posting this for my sister who works with the owner of this organization.
    Please everyone that can..please make donations to All Gods Creatures – Beaumont Rescue group. They have a donation button on their face book page All Gods Creatures Beaumont Texas , The Founder Valerie’s house severely damaged and probably lost most everything. Marla also had water damage.They are wonderful people & I am proud to be a foster for them. They do not have a llot of funding and pay for most out of their own pockets in which now this will be even harder d/t their loses.Please help out any little bit helps. If you need to use PayPal, then here is the address ethanzapata6@yahoo.com . 100% of the funds go to house an care for all of the animals until adopted. Everyone thinks about helping each other, but not many people think about the animals
    People forget about the animals in times like these. Just a few dollars will buy some food or cat litter. ALL of the animals have all shots and are spayed or neutered before you can adopt them. So that saves you a lot of money and time if you are looking for a forever friend. Contact me or the facebook site if you are looking for a cat, kitten or dog

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I can see the stained underwear going to the landfills, but hopefully the coats, sweaters, and other unneeded Texas items can be set aside and shipped north for shelters and homeless that do need them. Irma could swipe up the coast like Sandy and NC to NY will need them!

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    1. Unfortunately we donnot have the time or staff to do that. A fourth of Texas’ population has been affected by this event. The items sit untouched in parking lots where they are unloaded and mold in the TX humidity. This is why donors need to sort items and ship to appropriate areas of need. That cannot be out on a heavily victimized community. We sorted what we could for homeless shelters here, but we are overwhelmed and people’s homes currently depend on all hands on deck before the mold sets in.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Maybe it would be more helpful that we separate it here before it is shipped. Only things on the list, use our volunteers to go through it for you. Don’t send the “stuff” in the first place. We are gathering letters of hope, love, and prayers from our children to give directly to your families. May God bless all your efforts.

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  15. So beautifully written Angelia – it was obvious you were concerned about how your message would be received. – It was funny, full of gratitude and still got the point across very clearly. I am sorry for all the pain Texans are going through at the moment and hope that you all get back on your feet really quickly. We are praying for you in the UK, so keep your chin up and keep ploughing through.

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  16. I can not even imagine… I have been donating every where I go. I would love to be there to help, however I wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what to do. The one thing I can do is give money and lend an ear. I am doing both…hope it helps.
    This too shall pass.

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  17. Atta girl! I agree. I spent Sunday through Wednesday in Humbel and Orange with the Cajun Navy. And the last three days in Ascension Parish ( located off I10 between Baton Rouge & New Orleans) receiving donated items. I promise the 20 enclosed trailers of items: paper: TP, paper towels, diapers of every size, baby wipes, etc., Tolietries, tons of hygienic items. Cleaning supplies , Tools to gut with, fans, mops, buckets, etc.and lots of water and Powerade drinks. Plus tons of other items that we, who flooded last year, know exactly what y’all need right now. The only clothing we accepted was new socks, underwater and some new clothing devised by size and sex. These trailers will be rolling towards y’all early this week. All the items are sorted in bind, and divuded into categories. We’re also sending crews to start cooking hot meals for y’all. We wish y’all a successful, healthy, and as pain free recovery as possible. God bless y’all.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Please know that all those who fled and those who stayed during Katrina completely understand this plight! however, clothes, shoes, towels, sheets, etc. “only if truly clean” or toys for your toddlers, did actually meant a great deal to my family!! But they were handed over directly to my hands, from the hands of the donor and did not take up, much needed, volunteer hours…so, understood, but also let’s open our minds to other possible venues of giving!

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      1. Is there a way to find the list of individuals–tho I know there is also a need for confidentiality. We are downsizing and have a ton of house hold items, clothing, etc but no spare time to sit at a rummage sale. I have a trip to Austin that was planned before Harvey and could bring a couple extra cases if that would truly truly help even one family.

        This is well written Angelia. Thank you for being specific. It really applies to all items ever donated!

        People, please do not burden the organization or individual you are giving to with your trash bill.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This site has a lot of needs listed. You can also list what you have and see if there is a family of takers. I am working, myself, on starting individual sponsorships. Unfortunately, we still have to race the clock on muck out before we can get to the second stage, which is helping lives recover. Mold will set in soon, and then people will lose what little they have left if we do not get the houses and belongings cleaned and preserved. Try this page. It is NOT my page and there can be some unsavory people about (though they are really trying their best to admin it), so choose with care. Thanks.

        https://www.facebook.com/groups/1982997775271266/?fref=ts

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    1. I understand, but there are no hands to do that. Thousands here have lost everything. Everyone here either lost everything or is trying to muck out houses before mold sets in for those who have. Clothes are sitting in bags in parking lots molding because we simply don’t have time to deal with that, and then they must be discarded because they are ruined.

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      1. I believe the ones suggesting selling the items and things are saying that to people donating. If they hold yard sales and send the funds from such sales, the items would not be sent, but sold and only the money sent to Texas. Hope this helps clear up the sales ideas. May God bless all the victims and volunteers, and keep any future rains from that area until they get dried out.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. After Katrina I can tell you we needed rubber gloves and cleaning supplies and money. I can’t imagine it being different in Texas right now. As soon as the water is gone you have to start mucking out and salvage what you can. The last thing they need are piles of clothing and “stuff”. We are praying for Texas!

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  20. We have an organization driving donations down from the NJ area in 53′ tractor trailers. If anyone wants to donate, we have a list of items we are accepting: new packages of socks, diapers, wipes, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items (toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc.) as well as dog and cat food.

    If you want to donate, please get in touch. Trucks are heading down daily.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I see cat and dog food mentioned, but what about other pets? Birds, small pets like hamsters and rabbits and even fish will all need to eat! I certainly realize that people come first but imagine being nine years old in a shelter and watching your carefully saved pet go hungry.
      Sending prayers and hope from Surrey BC up in Canada.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I apologize for being slow. I am overwhelmed busy. It’s chaos like I never imagined! I am going to attempt to put together a new blog in the next two or so days outlining some options as I vet them out. For now, here is my personal group with list and address: http://www.churchproject.org/donationlist

        Here is a list of other sites to donate to. Simply check the lists and contact the site you wish to assist directly for more instructions. Thank you! https://communityimpact.com/houston/the-woodlands/news/2017/08/30/help-8-places-donate-supplies-montgomery-county-affected-hurricane-harvey/

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  21. I sorted all afternoon… tons of donated old, dirty, smelly stuffed animals. Please… would you want your babies to play with this stuff. Think what would you need! Well written blog. We need to spend time on helping people not sorting trash.

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  22. I. Remember in the early 70’s when we were running a place for homeless boys that most of our donations were button down shirts and men’s ties because corporate America was changing its dress code…

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  23. I worked at a clothing donation charity store for a long time and unfortunately this inappropriate offloading of unwanted items seems to be some really deep rooted part of human nature. People simply cannot throw things away themselves and if they can rid themselves of their junk and get an added frisson of feeling like they did a good thing that’s a double whammy. Emergency appeals need to be absolutely 100% specific about what they will/will not accept. The slightest chink of vagueness will be exploited to the max by this army of apparently benevolent off-loaders. Sounds harsh but there it is.. donations of that sort are more about the giver than the recipient

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  24. Thank you for sharing your heart in such a beautiful, loving way. Any one who has been through, known someone, or helped clean up following a disaster can understand. I pray that others will also understand. God is love and we should always seek to be like Him, loving, caring, and helping others in the right way. God bless all of those who gave affected by Harvey and those who see lending a helping hand.

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  25. Beautifully and graciously said. I’m sure some people really are trying to help by sending some inappropriate items, but to “donate” USED underwear really is low. And other things that they probably just want out of their own houses AND get a tax writeoff to boot is reprehensible. If you cannot afford to donate anything, no one expects you to. Just don’t send your trash. That’s just low.

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  26. Very well said and I can’t imagine what would make someone think that a prom dress, lingerie, and used underwear is a necessity for people who have just lost everything that they had. Please use your heads when you donate. It is not a thrift store it is a shelter.

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  27. Seem like when people loss everything, some people think they will take anything, give good things & NOT something you don’t want anymore – people are down & out, so please don’t make it worse for them, Please!!! ✝

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  28. Not only were your words
    Said in kindness, love and appreciation they taught anyone willing to listen(read). Thank you
    For telling me how I be of help and not in the way.
    God Bless the people who have lost so much and to the people doing what they can to help.

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  29. People not in Texas can also see if their communities are doing anything. My city has set up a donation day asking for a list of items I’ve seen friends in Texas said the shelters and schools there have asked for. Then the city will send down a truck to wherever they’re asked to go. I think this is a good way to get a lot of those heart in the right place donations sorted without using much needed people and resources in Texas. And if you only have a couple bucks, just drop off a couple things on the list. It really adds up if a lot of people do it.

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      1. Also the Beaumont and Port Arthur area was hit hard. I have a friend there who got several feet of water in her house. And two of my cousins also got water in their houses. So check into Beaumont and Port Arthur Texas and see if there’s any way you can donate to them. Thank you so much for all the kindnesses and love and compassion shown to the people here. I am overwhelmed by the amazing love I have seen this past week. Thank you.

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      1. I have read a great deal concerning the Red Cross. I’d like to set the record straight. Full disclosure, I am a Red Cross volunteer that has worked several national disasters. With respect, I agree with the original letter.

        With respect to the comment that 20 % of each dollar donated makes it to victims is grossly incorrect. 11% is overhead, meaning freight, storage, supporting volunteers on the ground (nothing fancy I can assure you!). Anyone that tells you that the group, charity etc has no overhead is simply lacking knowledge about how these groups function.

        Red Cross is not FEMA, not a banker or loan company. It is a group consisting of 98% volunteers. Is it perfect…no such thing. After each disaster worked there is a critical after action analysis to make the response better. The mission is to provide shelter, food, clean up kits. It is an emergency operation, never designed to make victims whole. Was designed to keep victims alive!

        Red Cross receives donations for a disaster and those funds are solely dedicated to emergency relief,think of it as an escrow account. When donations are not enough Red Cross borrows money so the mission can do its job. The are only deficits in the Red Cross balance sheets.

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  30. I don’t have money to send you, but I can and will pray for the people of Texas. May God Bless you all, I pray he heals your hearts, and the great state of Texas! God Bless You All!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Prayer is a beautiful way to help those here in Texas. It should never be considered a last resort because you don’t have any money or items to send. Thank you so much for your prayers. They are worth more than gold.

      Liked by 3 people

  31. That was just beautiful. I truly understand your every word. My heart hurts for youall. Yall are constantly in my prayers. I have made a donation and also gave supplies to help a teacher of my friend that lost everything. God bless youall. Hang in there trust God, it will get better. Much love!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Beautifully said and yes its hard to say thank you but no thank you. We still have a long way to go and not just Houston, but all the surrounding areas and all of southeast Texas.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I heard this comment following Katrina. We have an organization collecting only new children’s clothing and immediate items, i.e., diapers and formula. Right now, most are not in their homes, no place to store items, and so much of what is being sent will need to be stored for months. I would like to suggest, regarding a truckload of misc items and inappropriate used clothing — hold a huge yard sale and send the proceeds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sad but true. There is so much unneeded items going to waste. It is hard enough to have to sort through your own rotting , personal items , after a horrific flood. Your Louisiana neighbors know well enough of the loving contributions that are sent. We truly appreciate and don’t want to offend but we are just looking for basic survival articles at this time. 😇

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Donate to Lutheran world relief! They help everyone, not just Lutherans & they have basically no overhead. It all goes back out to help. Just an fyi. Jope this helps?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The Baptist Convention and Samaritan’s Purse (Franklin Graham) is where we donated. I guarantee you every cent goes to the victims. Tons of cleaning supplies are being sent already and that is wonderful. I think so many feel the children and adults cannot get new clothes for a long time, thus too many clothes are donated. Some of the non -profits pay outrageous salaries to their CEO’s so I like The Methodist Church, the Samaritan’s Purse and the Baptist Convention (they already have food trucks there feeding so many every day. All God’s Best!

        WE want every cent to help the victims and families!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I would suggest going through the JJ Watts Foundation ! I survived Katrina and will never help the red Cross again after watching them throw away thousands and thousands of dollars of clothes, food and other donations.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes imagine how good it feels to go buy the right fit and style under ware you normally use. It sort of gives you some normalcy being able to go get some things yourself. Just having a familiar bar of soap you are usd to is a comforting feeling. My sister is a teacher that lost her entire first floor apartment in the back of Kingwood and she is having a hard time getting ready to go back to school for her kids and I know a gift card would be a huge blessing to her and anyone who lost everything short of their lives in this storm. Thank you for all of your love prayers and generosity.
        Karen
        http://Www.makingitasmom.com

        Liked by 1 person

      5. they gave another option. But as a Houstonian I would suggest anothe great ministry – why people, especially Christians should give to somebodycares.org Houston based Doug Stringer networks with churches and ministries globally so that there are boots on the ground whenever there is a disaster. The locals take care of the needs while being supplied by somebody cares. It is pure genius. And as everyone has seen, we citizens can do the job more efficiently and economically than the feds can.check them out and I hope you will donate on the link on their page.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I would use her link or find a better charity. If you donate to Red Cross something like 20 cents of your dollar will actually go to the victims.

        Liked by 2 people

      7. Please donate your money through your Church. Do NOT donate to Red Cross because very little of your donation will actually reach the needy. Sorry to offend anyone but if you do the research you will find I am correct.

        Liked by 2 people

      8. NOT the Red Cross. You really don’t know if it will make it to Texas. Suggestions: Houston SPCA, Samaritan’s Purse, or individual churches or people’s organizations you can trust, e.g. JJ WATT of the Houston Texans.

        Liked by 2 people

      9. Given that there is already a competing list of charities below, you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused. Google “charity navigator.” They compare charities based on efficiency, percentage of donations that actually help people, etc. Choose a few that sound promising, then look up their numbers and see if they still sound good.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Give to the Salvation Army. My parents lost everything in a tornado in 2011. For two weeks the Salvation Army provided 3 hot meals a day along with drinking water and cleaning supplies. I can honestly say they are there when you need them.

        Liked by 2 people

      11. Let’s talk underwear! #realtalk #Harvey
        Here are three ways to give NEW (still in package) underwear. Please keep in mind that we need a variety of sizes for men, women, boys, and girls, including XXL.
        1. https://www.amazon.com/…/2O89ZX93O…/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1
        2. Collect new, packaged underwear and mail it to the address below. It’s our local Hillel and they are collecting for us. This is a really great neighborhood or school project. If you’re purchasing, we recommend Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. UFE doesn’t process or give out anything but underwear!
        Undies for Everyone
        1700 Bissonnet St.
        Houston, TX 77005
        3. Give cash and Undies for Everyone will purchase wholesale: https://secure.lglforms.com/form_e…/s/uFpr61ITEItxPeN4Lo9zpA

        Liked by 2 people

      12. I want to do what I can afford, however I’m not willing to donate to Red Cross. Where can I send money, cashiers check? Or what else? What do you suggest for gift certificates, (what stores😎)? Please advise & thank you

        Liked by 1 person

      13. A gift card to petsmart, Wal-Mart or Petco us best. We buy all dog food there. Cat food is bought from chewy.com.

        You could send mail to

        All Gods Creatures
        913 Shannon Lane
        Nederland, Texas 77627

        Thank you for even thinking about helping

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Please find a local organization or church to donate things to. MOST money that goes to the Red Cross never makes into the hands of the suffering. They have to pay staff and they fund a LOT of different things besides disasters. They pick and chose which disaster to give to. Please read their website and hopefully you will be able to discern that the Red Cross may not be the best place to donate to. They donate a lot of money to foreign, international disaster areas ( way more than to local communities). If you donate to a LOCAL, known organization or church, 100% of whatever you donate goes to those who really need it.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Before I donate $$$$ make sure u ask what percentage goes directly to the cause u will be surprised at the abswer u want the bulk of donation to go directly not for administration fund raising etc

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I give to Team Rubicon. They do rescue, clean up and help rebuild for disasters everywhere. I believe that most, if not all, goes directly to labor. It is administered and staffed by veterans.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If you look at CharityNavigator.org – a place to find the real data on charities, you will see that American Red Cross spends 90% of it’s income on the people that need it.

        https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3277

        ^ That up there is actual research, and not just what aunt Edna posted on facebook. .

        So the people claiming otherwise are 100% full of bullshix.

        Also, there is no such thing as a charity that gives 100% to the people. Not possible. But some good charities spend less than 3% on overhead.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I do not condone or condemn any organization personally other than my own nonprofits whom I know and work with closely and trust fully. I suggest each person do their own deep seated research before choosing their organization of choice. I tend to lean toward small community groups because they know the need, now individuals, and know the area, but that’s not to say other larger groups aren’t worthwhile as well!

        My personal suggestion is http://www.churchproject.org/hurricaneharveyresponse because I know them, give them my hours, and give them my money. I know fully that 100% of funding is going to relief.

        Thanks for your thoughts.

        Like

      4. All Gods Creatures is 100 % used for the pets. It us tax deductible. Actually we they lose a few thousand dollars per year, but that is ok. Someone has to do it

        Liked by 1 person

    3. This is a beautifully written, absolutely appropriate letter thanking and also requesting the proper items. I stand by Angelia 100 percent.

      I sometimes wonder, though, where people’s common sense goes, that it would occur to them to send winter coats to such a hot and humid climate or select stained underwear to people desperately clinging on to their dignity.

      I’ve already made two donations to charities highly rated by Charity Navigation. In the meantime, hooray for thoughtful, hard-working Angelia and her crew!

      Liked by 1 person

    4. I have to wonder if the majority of this is thrift stores (Salvation Army, etc) rerouting a segment of their donations … pre-sort. The bad news: sounds exactly like the sorting every donation facility goes thru (ie: 80% trash, 20% goods). The good news: if this is the case then perhaps education of a few dozen organizations can stop it (vs mass public re-education)

      Liked by 1 person

    5. If you want to maximize your donation send cash. Red Cross tries to buy supplies locally which does 2 things: keeps overhead low as it buys as the need arises and it pumps money into a suffering local economy. If it cannot buy locally it goes to the nearest supplier to keep shipping and warehousing costs low. The additional benefit is that the purchases are what are need at that moment. The needs will change over time and so will the inventory for distribution.
      Bless all that donate. Use your logistical head and your generous heart in response to the victims of this tragedy.

      Liked by 1 person

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