Valley organizations prepare to deliver donations to tornado victims
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Donation drives are ongoing across the Valley and across the nation to deliver clothing, food, and other necessities to those impacted by tornadoes in the Midwest.
Groups like New Beginnings Church and Zion Ministries have plans to make the trip to deliver donations to affected areas over the weekend.
For those individuals and groups delivering donations, the American Red Cross wants them to be wary that while the donations are great, it is important that they try to communicate with officials on the ground before arriving to avoid chaos.
“A wave of these donated items in certain situations can overwhelm those local officials on the ground and that’s why it’s important that you’re talking with groups that are on the ground to get a sense for what they’re seeing in the community and to get a sense of what the needs are going to be in the coming weeks,” Jonathan McNamara, with the Red Cross, said.
McNamara notes that donations have been flowing into affected areas from all over the U.S. which is great but can also cause problems for those trying to manage the relief efforts.
“It’s important to remember that it’s not just the Harrisonburg community that is collecting items. We’re seeing items being collected from across the country and what I’ve seen unfortunately in some of these situations is these items can be tough to store, tough to manage, tough to sift through,” he said.
The Red Cross encourages people to continue to volunteer and make monetary donations to organizations aiding in the relief efforts and applauds the way communities have come together to help.
They say the kind of supplies and help needed in affected areas will continue to evolve in what will be a long rebuilding process.
“The most consistent thing I’ve heard from all of our volunteers and team members on the ground is that the pictures really don’t do the damage justice. It’s more extensive than they anticipated and they truly have a sense that this is gonna be a months long response, if not years in the making,” said McNamara.
New Beginnings Church will be out collecting donations at Bob Wade Subaru in Harrisonburg on Saturday before making the trip to Kentucky on Sunday.
As part of Zion Ministries efforts, donations will also be accepted on Saturday at the Weyers Cave Volunteer Fire Company, Verona Fire Department, Mountain Valley Truck and Trailer in Staunton, the Stuarts Draft Rescue Squad, 1384-D Central Avenue in Harrisonburg, and 9710 Greenleaf Street in Grottoes.
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