After the tornadoes: what to donate, what to keep -

After the tornadoes: what to donate, what to keep





Churches and other groups have been collecting donations for victims of the Good Friday tornadoes. However, some donations may go unused.

The Zion Lutheran Church in Maryland Heights collected tables full of clothing and other home goods. Volunteers donated their time to keep the church doors open for several hours, everyday, to allow families to pick out whatever they need. While cleaning supplies were in demand. Some of the clothes are not.

A church member said the group will try to ship some of the donations to people in southern Missouri, impacted by another disaster - the floods.

Other organizations, including the The Salvation Army and Red Cross, are soliciting cash, instead of clothing.

"In a lot of cases, it may not be the right size, the right style or may not be exactly what they need. So, it's really hard to determine what happens with the donated clothing item," said Major Jim Curl of the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army says cash donations can be designated for tornado relief and the money pays for hot meals, grocery store vouchers, and financial assistance for families struggling to pay for debris removal and clean-up.

"What they really need is some stabilization in their lives. It might be housing, it might be food. The clothing aspect of that is something that's really hard to address, that need, as time goes on. We know that story only because we've learned from experience and if you start accepting clothing, we'll need warehouses," said Major Curl.

The Salvation Army does take clothing donations at its thift stores.  Sales in its stores help pay for Salvation Army operations.

To learn more about donating, contact the Red Cross, United Way, or Salvation Army.

Contact the Salvation Army at 1-800-SAL-ARMY

Contact the Red Cross here:

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