Use head, as well as heart, in helping disaster victims

Hurricane Harvey’s devastation along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast is so vast that it is hard to grasp. Televised video of the storm-ravaged areas inundate viewers nightly.

Now that the wind and rain are over, the first reaction is to do something and quick. But sometimes quick is not the answer.

Voices of reason, drawing on their past experience with storm disasters, are using the media to urge people to think about what they are doing in the name of humanitarian aid.

The last thing to consider is to send clothes, unless you know exactly who needs what and where you are sending it. Juanita Rilling, director of the International Center for Disaster Relief, said sorting and warehousing the mountains of clothing is detrimental to the recovery process. She makes a strong point by saying cash and gift card donations, although impersonal, are better for victims because they allow the family to purchase what they need.

To understand this and what has happened in the past with unwanted and unneeded donations, view the video at www.youtube.com. There are several ways to view the video: a shortened https://youtube/pzH-7k035sM; or youtube.com and search for Disaster relief donations that don’t bring relief. The original segment came from CBS Sunday Morning.

Cash donations can be made through the obvious places, such as Red Cross, Catholic Charities, The Greater Houston Community Foundation, Baptist Disaster Relief, United Way of Greater Houston and Salvation Army. GoFundMe, the social fundraising site, has created a landing page that gathers the campaigns on its platform related to Harvey.

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