How to help in a disaster, aid organizers warn about donations

Segment 2 of Donovan Live: One for the Money

CLEVELAND - Ohioans are some of the most charitable people in the country. In fact a recent study by Wallet Hub put us at 8th in the country in terms of giving. But before you rush to help out victims of Hurricane Harvey, be careful what you send and to where.

Two of the issues, supplies and scammers. And those things could cause a "second" disaster for aid workers and victims.

Piles of donated clothing were strewn across the beach after the 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia.

Supplies were left in street after Super Storm Sandy.

And after the Sandy Hook tragedy, people sent boxes upon boxes of teddy bears & toys.

Of course these were heartfelt gestures. But so much was wasted. When disaster strikes, the first thing aid workers say they need is cash, plain and simple.

Since it's still early in the Harvey disaster, they are trying to figure out what people need, where to store the supplies and how to disperse them.

Money on the other hand is used immediately for emergency assistance. And by buying items in and around the affected area, they can bolster the local economy to help them recover quicker.

Now, we've made it very easy to donate. You can log on wkyc.com/ texascares or click the "texas cares" tile on our mobile app.  All donations go directly to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey disaster relief fund. And our parent company Tegna will match donations up to $100,000 dollars.

But if want to donate a different route, please research the organization before you give to make sure they are legitimate.

A lot scammers play on your generosity.  Places like the Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator , Charity Watch and Give Well are several sites where you can research companies asking for help.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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