After Hurricane Harvey demolished southern Texas last week, killing at least 31, some folks may be wondering what they can do to help.
Several area Westlake Ace Hardware stores are accepting donations to the American Red Cross, including the location at 206 E. Second St. in Fulton.
"The devastation brought by Hurricane Harvey to the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana has shocked and saddened us all," Tom Knox, Westlake Ace Hardware CEO said. "In addition to the donation Westlake made to the American Red Cross for the relief effort, we wanted to set up a system so customers and non-customers could easily donate to help those in need."
Monetary donations can be made securely at the checkout counter, a company representative said in a release.
Other area Westlake Ace locations accepting donations include:
According to the experts, giving money during times of crisis is more useful than sending items.
The U.S. Center for Disaster Information says such donations "require transportation — which is expensive and logistically complicated — and a pre-identified recipient on the ground who will receive the shipment, pay customs and other fees, sort and distribute the items."
After Hurricane Sandy, piles of donations that needed sorting and proper storage ended up going to waste due to lack of time and manpower.
Authorities are still adding up the damage done by Harvey. So far, the Texas Department of Public Safety said more than 37,000 homes were heavily damaged and nearly 7,000 were destroyed, figures that did not include the tens of thousands of homes with minor damage. About 325,000 people have already sought federal emergency aid in the wake of Harvey, and more than $57 million in individual assistance has already been paid out, FEMA officials said.
That level of devastation can't be fixed overnight.
"Charities are going to need support on the long haul," said Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
She suggested setting up a recurring donation to your charity of choice.
The AP contributed to this report.