Charities Learning How to Help

Charities Learning How to Help
By: CJ Cassidy

F

rom money to food and shelter
,
to clothing
,
people in the heartland are coming forward with an outpouring of support.

B
ut now
,
a nationally-recognized charity rating service
, Charity Navigator,
says too many relief organizers could add up to one big mess.

Still some volunteers like Angie Brewer of Matthews, says there's still a lot that needs to be done.

"W
e made a promise
to go back
down there
. We saw
things there that they needed
," Brewer says, as she prepares
for a second trip to disaster ravaged
M
ississippi.

"Many p

eople
went
to
W
al-
M
art and bought diapers and soap
, and a
lot of them bought canned food to take back with us
," she points out going through the dozens of bags stocked up in her church.

H
arry
R
ediger with the
American R
ed
C
ross, admires the effort of folks like
B
rewer
,
but points out food and other supplies could get lost and misdirected
,
as volunteers and rescue crews struggle among the chaos in devastated areas.

"T

hey're so many times needs of people don't fit what people have donated
. So
when
the Red Cross
has a monetary gift they can react to particular needs of evacuees
," he explains.

R
ediger also points out many of the evacuees needing help are right here in the heartland in places like
C
amp
M
c
C
lanahan in
K
ennett.

"O

ur concern in
S
outheast
M
isso
u
ri is to take care of people coming up the highway
," he says.

B
ack in
M
atthews
, Angie Brewer's
determined to stick to her promise.
S
he says physically volunteering would make her feel a lot better than it would if she simply wrote out a check.

"I

t's what
I
wanted to do
. It
meant a lot to me and
the
medic
I
was with
. We
had a lot more gratitude and thanks than we ever had in our lives
," Brewer says.

B

rewer and other volunteers also point out that because the focus of rescue efforts appears to be on bigger cities
,
some of the smaller towns are not getting the help and supplies they need
,
so they hope to help reach out to those people with the donations they've collected.

I
f you're still
planning
on going
S
outh to help out
,
you should make contact with a relief agency in the city you plan to travel to
,
before you leave
.

T

hat way
,
you are ensured your help is needed there.