Avoiding the Disaster Within a Disaster

We live in such a generous community (and country)! After the devastating tornado that touched down in Joplin, MO, many people want to know how they can help.  Unfortunately, the answer to how we can best help isn’t the warm and fuzzy answer that we want to hear–CASH is really the best way to help at times like these.

This week I have received quite a few emails about how too many unsolicited resources are taking time and energy away from relief efforts. Unfortunately, good intentions often have negative consequences. Here’s an excerpt of an urgent news release sent out yesterday by the Camden County Emergency Management Agency:

“Last night, notification was received from the regional voluntary agency liaison that all unsolicited gathering of material goods for the Joplin relief efforts need to cease….Valuable resources that would otherwise be used to help people have had to be diverted to manage unsolicited goods. The outpouring of love and giving throughout this disaster has been phenomenal, yet burdening.Responders as well as disaster victims have had to be moved from their sheltering locations in order to accommodate the vast amounts of unsolicited goods storage….Please do not send anymore unsolicited material goods to the Joplin relief.”

Here is one of the pictures included with that news release:

Woman sorting donations in packed warehouse

I’m always amazed at how generous our communities are in times of disaster. Let’s respond with both our head and our heart and listen to the plea of those on the ground in Joplin. If you want to donate cash, go to www.aidmatrix.org/fema and click on “Missouri” for links to voluntary agencies helping on the ground.

Thanks to all those that LIVE UNITED by responding to disasters appropriately.

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