Go through proper channels to help hurricane victims

Hurricane Harvey has devastated the Texas Gulf Coast. Even though the storm has weakened, heavy rain is expected to continue throughout the week. During these types of natural disasters, many people offer to help in some way. However, it is important to manage these offers of help so that the right resources are delivered where and when they are needed.

If anyone wants to help, the best way is to provide a cash donation to agencies that are experienced in disaster relief. Many people offer to donate items, but that isn’t as useful as money. Donated items have to be shipped and stored at great expense, and the items may not be needed. Cash donations allow the relief agencies to purchase resources as needs arise.

The Champaign County Emergency Management Agency cannot accept donations of any type for relief efforts. Please coordinate your donations directly with one of the organizations participating in the hurricane relief. These organizations include:

American Red Cross. To donate visit www.redcross.org, call 1- 800-RED CROSS or text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The Salvation Army: To donate visit www.helpsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-725-2769.

Catholic Charities USA: Visit www.catholiccharitiesusa.org to donate.

GlobalGiving: Visit https://www.globalgiving.org/harvey. Donors can also text HARVEY to 80100 to donate $10 to GlobalGiving’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Save the Children: Visit www.savethechildren.org to donate.

If people or organizations want to travel to Texas and volunteer in the relief efforts, please do not self-deploy to the area. Contact the agencies below to volunteer:

Red Cross: redcross.org/volunteer/

Salvation Army: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/volunteer/

Ohio VOAD: 1-614-241-2540

Texas blood centers are anticipating a severe stress on regional blood supplies. Individuals or organizations interested in blood donations should contact the Red Cross at 1-800-RED CROSS.

Best help is to donate cash to groups experienced in disaster relief

By James Freeman


Champaign County Emergency Management Agency