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

1 year 1 month 3 weeks 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- Out-of-state vehicles around the University of Missouri are having their license plates stolen. It’s been happening in garages... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:17:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
CENTRALIA - Where would a man celebrating a half century of giving blood go to celebrate? Another blood drive... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:55:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- In a meeting this afternoon, Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes, apologized for the confusion surrounding the Columbia Police Department’s... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:17:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man is sentenced to 10 years in Federal prison for a 2017 armed bank robbery turned... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:14:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in Top Stories
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook said it's making progress on detecting hate speech, graphic violence and other violations of its... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 3:53:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Employment providers, state agencies and employers serving people with disabilities across the state came together to learn how... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 3:12:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Ceres, the statue that stood on top of the State Capitol for 94 years, touched ground Thursday.... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 2:48:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A bronze statue called Ceres will spend the next year being cleaned and touched up for conservation... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 2:30:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's unemployment rate has hit a tied record low. Data released Thursday from the... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 12:56:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
MAGALIA, Calif. (AP) — Cool weather helped fire crews gain ground Thursday against the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century,... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 11:52:00 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Two buses carrying students and staff from Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School was involved in a... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 10:01:00 AM CST November 15, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - A judge ordered bond to be revoked Wednesday for a man charged in connection with an alleged conspiracy... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:47:25 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE - A judge sentenced a Moberly man to 18 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to child sex... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:35:37 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The number of kids in need is growing, according to the only foster care and adoption association... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 6:20:00 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Ceres, the bronze statue that sits on top of the Capitol Building, will come to ground level... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 6:02:00 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - Veterans at Moberly Correctional Center say a program designed to reconnect former servicemen to their military values has... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 9:33:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia plow drivers participated in the annual Dry Snow Run to practice routes for the winter season Wednesday... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 8:38:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Medical marijuana may play a part in the reduction of opioid usage, supporters say. According to the... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 6:39:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
11pm 33°
12am 33°
1am 33°
2am 33°