Caution issued on in-kind donations for Texas flood victims

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Find out the right way to donate goods.

Many well-intentioned people in the Triangle are collecting items to take to the flood-ravaged Houston area but experts are cautioning not to do it too soon.

"The state of Texas Emergency Operations Center has not identified any locations with warehousing space for these donations," said Ann Huffman the volunteer coordinator for the North Carolina Conference of United Methodist Church's disaster center.

Huffman is also president of the NC chapter of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).

She says right now it's cash donations that are needed. However, she says eventually many in-kind donations will be needed especially for these types of products:

- Canned food with pop tops
- Plasticware (utensils, cups, plates)
- Paper goods
- Non-perishables
- Diapers (child and adult)
- Feminine products
- Hygiene products
- Cleaning supplies
- Gloves
- Dust masks
- Insect repellent

For now, though, she says trying to drive those donations to Texas is risky on numerous fronts.

"It depends on the state of the local infrastructure as to whether they're even able to get far enough to make their goods useful and to be safe while they are doing it," Huffman told ABC11.

Damian Horne, the owner of a bar called Hoppy Endings at Litchford Village in North Raleigh, started collecting in-kind donations Tuesday at his business after a friend got a call from someone he knows in law enforcement in the Houston area.

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Hoppy Endings

"They were talking about how much the water costs and just the price gouging and how they need supplies, desperately in need of it," Horne said adding, "We have time. We have energy, able bodied people. Why not help?"

And the diapers, hygiene products, bottled water, and other items have been pouring in all day.

Horne and his friend plan to drive it all to Texas in a truck Friday.

He understands Huffman's warning but says his circumstance is different since his friend's friend in Texas has a place for them to go.

"We actually have a situation where we know where to go and we actually have people. So everything's already lined up. All we need to do is transport the products down there," he told ABC11.

But Huffman says anyone who doesn't have a private drop-off location should wait until officials identify locations before taking products to the Lone Star State.

"We do not want to discourage people. People's hearts are good and they want to help when they've seen something as disastrous and devastating as this hurricane is. There will be a time to both volunteer there and to donate there. We do want to encourage that but the area is not yet ready to receive those things," the disaster relief expert said.

She added, "We need to be careful how we donate so the people we intend it for will get it and use it."

If you want to make sure your in-kind of donation goes to the right place, or if you're excepting in kind donations and need advice on when and where to deliver them use this link for a list of VOAD members in North Carolina:

Related Topics:
donationshurricane harveywake county newsRaleigh
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