What you should and shouldn't donate to Hurricane Harvey relief

Experts are saying "think before you donate." Donating money may not feel personable, but they say it could be the most compassionate thing someone can do.

Tragedy often brings out the generosity in everyday people. And while many people are compelled to donate, experts say there is a right way to do it.

Experts are saying "think before you donate." Donating money may not feel personable, but they say it could be the most compassionate thing someone can do.

If you're committed to collecting supplies, there's a way experts say is best. For example, Concordia Lutheran Church spent Labor Day holding a disaster relief drive and collected specific donations on a list.

Senior Pastor Bill Tucker understands that organization is key to sparing other volunteers and inspectors valuable time sorting through items down the road.

"We can know exactly what's in here and sent that with the truck driver," he said as he held up an inventory list. "When it arrives at a spot, the folks need to know who are receiving those items and what they have. If they have to sort through everything? Then that's a lot of people hours wasted."

According to the website HowStuffWorks.com, FEMA cautions that used clothing is "rarely a useful item" 

It’s time consuming to go through boxes of mixed clothing and sort and clean and distribute. Clothing donations could eventually end up in a landfill.

Instead, experts say to sell the used clothes at a yard sale then donate the funds to a disaster relief agency.

Another thing to keep in mind: Flooding could lead to more mosquito-borne illnesses. Some towns are reporting empty shelves of needed repellants and sprays. Experts say that such a shortage could possibly make residents more vulnerable to diseases like West Nile virus and Zika.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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