Hurricane Harvey: Local donations being accepted | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | August 30, 2017 5:00 pm
Last Updated: August 30, 2017 at 10:08 am
Most of the country has been mesmerized for the last few days by the total destruction in Texas by Hurricane Harvey. For those in the Lowcountry, the scenario hits close to home. But the distance between S.C. and Texas prohibits most from being able to help directly.
But there are ways Lowcountry residents can help.
Pastor Tony Jones and members of Faith Baptist Church are working with Anchor Baptist Disaster Relief (part of the Independent Baptist Disaster Network or IBDN) to get supplies from S.C. to Texas.
“They have already established a couple of relief sites right outside of Houston,” Jones said, “and their main distribution hub is in Hendersonville, N.C.” The group is transporting non-perishable items by truck and airplane to Texas. Jones said he has worked with IBDN several times before and that they are “way ahead of the game” in their network to help those in need.
Donations of any non-perishable item are being accepted at Faith Baptist Academy at the junction of Hwy. 17A and Hendersonville Highway. Anything that does not have to be preserved by refrigeration will be accepted: canned foods such as beanie-weenies, boxed food like pop tarts, water, baby food, dog food, diapers, etc.
And for those who would rather contribute money, the church will accept that too. “This group has buying power that I don’t,” Jones said. “I talked to the director this morning and he said he could buy a pallet (184 cases) of water for $184.” For expediency, checks should be made to Faith Baptist Church with a notation that it’s a donation to Hurricane Harvey. Jones said he will give donors a receipt and even proof of what the money was spent on, if desired.
No clothes are being accepted at this time.
The goal is to fill a “Penske-style” truck with donations from Walterboro. Jones noted he (hopefully) won’t personally drive the truck to N.C., but will recruit someone more qualified. The truck will leave Walterboro whenever it is full. If donations are sufficient, the church will send a second truck.
Donations can be taken to the school from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday. For those who can’t make those hours, contact Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 834-538-2269 to make other arrangements. The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office is also assisting in collecting items.
Neither the Red Cross nor the Salvation Army are accepting donations other than money — both said the logistics of getting items to Texas are just too great. Neither has anywhere in Colleton County to accept donations.
Monetary donations to the Red Cross can be made at redcross.org or an automatic $10 donation can be made by texting “Harvey” to 90999. To volunteer to help, call 843-410-8467.
The Salvation Army accepts monetary donations at helpsalvationarmy.org. Text donations can be made by texting “storm” to 51555 and entering an amount.
A number of other organizations are accepting donations via the internet, but residents should check out the charity before giving it their money. The Better Business Bureau has a website, give.org, with free reports that specify if the charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.
Other suggestions from the BBB include:
1) See if the charity has an on-the-ground presence in the impacted areas. Unless the charity already has staff in the affected areas, it may be difficult to bring in new aid workers to provide assistance quickly. See if the charity’s website clearly describes what the charity can do to address immediate needs.
2) Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups. Some charities may be raising money to pass along to relief organizations. If so, you may want to consider “avoiding the middleman” and giving directly to those that have a presence in the region. Or, at a minimum, check out the ultimate recipients of these donations to see whether they are equipped to provide aid effectively.
3) Be cautious about gifts of clothing, food or other in-kind donations. In-kind drives for food and clothing, while well intentioned, may not necessarily be the quickest way to help those in need – unless the organization has the staff and infrastructure to distribute such aid properly. Ask the charity about its transportation and distribution plans. Be wary of those who are not experienced in disaster relief assistance.
4) Understand crowdfunding. Keep in mind that some crowdfunding sites do very little vetting of individuals who decide to post for assistance after a disaster, and it is often difficult for donors to verify the trustworthiness of crowdfunding requests for support. If you decide to contribute via crowdfunding, it is probably best to give to people who you personally know that have posted requests for assistance. For more Give.org tips on crowdfunding, check out this Wise Giving Wednesday post.
5) Phases of disaster relief. Remember that every disaster has several phases – rescue, emergency relief, and recovery. Each part relies on public support and continuing funding for success. The need for donations doesn’t stop when the headlines do.
Any local organization planning similar relief efforts, please send your information to us at email@example.com, 843-549-2586 or message on walterborolive.com or Facebook. We will post all information received on the web page and Facebook.