Since Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas coast last week Big Spring residents have shown their support by donating money, supplies, water and non-perishable food items to the area. Some people have actually gone out of their way to actually fuel up and drive it to some of the affected areas.
Captain Josh McKain with the Salvation Army says that sometimes good intentions can actually hinder relief efforts if it's not properly coordinated.
"Many people don't understand the logistical nightmare behind organizing drives, labeling and separating, organizing, packing and shipping, and boxing goods," says Captain McKain. "If a church, agency, or group is not working with [an approved distributor] they very well will get turned away because there's so much of that coming in."
Captain McKain went on to say that financial contributions are the best way to help because it costs nothing to send money where it needs to be as opposed to a canned food or toiletry. Here Captain McKain explains how this helps in more ways than one, "Why buy a case of water here in Big Spring, Texas, when you can give money to an agency to buy water in an economy that's struggling? When people take money and purchase goods in the economies that are struggling, it gives them a boost, helps support businesses there, and it's much more cost effective that the people who know how to respond to disaster know how to do it well."
The Salvation Army is mobilized all across Texas and now in parts of Louisiana with 71 different mobile units ranging from units that can serve and provide hot meals, snacks and provide hydration, as well as clean-up kits, and even laundry and shower units that have come from all over the united states and there are hundreds of teams that have been deployed to the different areas affected.
Captain McKain also went on to state, "It's going to be a long, long process, and we're in it for the long haul. The Salvation Army will be there for 6 to 9 months."
The Salvation Army will also be working the after-recovery that includes finding placement and homes for people, assisting them, and walking with them during this time of rebuilding. It is going to last years down the road that they'll be there to continue working with individuals who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.
If you would like to make a financial contribution you can go to helpsalvationarmy.org, you can text “STORM” to 51555, or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.