Joplin tornado survivors: Be careful how you donate to hurricane relief

2 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago Thursday, September 21 2017 Sep 21, 2017 Thursday, September 21, 2017 2:37:00 PM CDT September 21, 2017 in News
By: Lindsey Fafoglia, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Some mid-Missouri residents who know what it's like to live through a horrific natural disaster have some advice for people who want to help victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

“Cash is king,” said Jay St. Clair, a Joplin resident who underwent the tornado that devastated the town in 2011. 

Randy Gariss, another Joplin resident, said to send water within the first 24 hours, but after that time has passed, switch to other donations.

"Send gift cards, gift cards are wonderful," Gariss said.

He said people mean well when the donate items, but that creates more problems than it solves.

"We had to spend a lot of money sometimes just renting warehouse space to put things in that nobody could use for months," Garris said.

The Salvation Army says used toys and clothing should not be sent to affected areas; cash is the best option.

“Don't do clothing drives, that is just not helpful,” said Salvation Army Area Business Administrator Jack Holloway.

He said the flexibility of money helps those in the affected area to assess the damage and decide what is needed.

He said people should make sure they are sending cash through a reputable organization like the Salvation Army, United Way or the Red Cross.

Gariss said tarps and plastic tubs can be of use, but many items that get sent aren't of good quality.

"I know people want to be helpful, but what you would put in a garage sale, don't send to a disaster."

Gariss said it would be better to sell used items at a garage sale, then send the cash to affected areas instead. 

Holloway said people will need personal hygiene products, underwear and socks right now, but its best if it’s bought locally.

“Again, it really should not be shipped from a place like this because of the cost, the logistics, and everything else. Money is again really the best thing that can be provided,” he said.

Garris said people further than three to seven miles from a disaster should be careful sending items.

Some people want to donate their time as well as money or items.

Gariss said he encourages volunteers as long as they're partnered with an organization. He said people shouldn't just show up without a set location and a clear idea of where they are going and who they will be working with.

"A community will recover because of the kindness of people who come in and volunteer, and it will recover because of the kindness of people who give, but you got to do it wisely," Gariss said.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - For people in jail, it's sometimes difficult to get together the funds to bail out. That's where... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 10:24:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama Republican Roy Moore, beset by allegations of sexual misconduct, lost his bid to become a senator.... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:30:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The former Cole County Chief Juvenile Officer sued his former boss and the Cole County Commission Tuesday,... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:33:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - An abandoned car caught fire Tuesday at the intersection of East Broadway and South Rolling Hills Road.... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The man found dead at an Old Hawthorne home Monday morning was the son of a Clark County... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri has entered in a new foster care study that will look at foster parent recruitment and retention.... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 6:51:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A criminal investigation was underway Tuesday after a man's death and a vehicle fire. Foul play was... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 5:08:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The 2018 Jefferson City council elections only have one contested seat: 5th Ward Council member. Incumbent... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Cover Missouri, a coalition promoting sign ups for the Affordable Care Act, held an open-enrollment event at the... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are still investigating the death of Augustus Roberts, the man found dead at a home in the... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:46:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Truman VA’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) went live with a new Tele-ICU technology on Tuesday. Tele-ICU... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:46:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Troopers arrested a man on Tuesday after a high-speed chase which started south of Ashland and ended in... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:38:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
VERSAILLES - Prosecutors filed charges against three employees of the Morgan County Jail on Monday, including a nurse accused of... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:37:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri has become the 34th state, in addition to two territories, to accept a nationwide public safety network.... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:35:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
NEVADA (AP) — Two inmates who were captured soon after breaking out of a western Missouri jail face new charges.... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:20:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
ASHLAND – Those who live around Ashland were able to avoid paying an online convenience fee or driving to Columbia... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:16:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Legislation for a primary seatbelt law has been filed by the Missouri House Transportation Committee chairman. This... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 1:03:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Firefighters have found two bodies while battling a blaze in a Kansas City, Kansas, home.... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 11:53:16 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
8am 36°
9am 42°
10am 45°
11am 48°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
9:00a
Megyn Kelly TODAY
10:00a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
7:00a
Maury
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Wall
8:00p
Golden Globe 75th Anniversary Special
7:00p
Riverdale
8:00p
Dynasty
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld