NORFOLK, Va (WAVY) - When you see the lives torn apart in Moore, Oklahoma, your first instinct may be to send all the support you can as quickly as possible. Some of those donations, however, could be more of hindrance then a help.
10 On Your Side spoke with two major charity organizations with boots on the ground in Moore -- the American Red Cross and Operation Blessing International -- to find out more.
"These gestures come from the heart but its not what they need down there," said American Red Cross Spokesman Rob Shapiro.
WAVY.com spoke to Operation Blessing's Director for U.S. Disaster Relief, Jody Herrington-Gettys, via Skype on Wednesday afternoon.
"It takes more money and manpower to get, say clothes and food from your hometown to the disaster town, so if you send cash that money goes directly to the field," Gettys said.
Shapiro added, "If all these generous people come down with cars loaded with household goods the roads will be clogged up and we won't be able to get the people through who need to be there right away."
These charities, and others, have agreements with corporations so they can get more with your dollar then you can and they buy what they can locally so it pumps money into the economy of the devastated area.
In addition to cash, starting tomorrow, Operation Blessing could use some extra hands.
"We will be looking for volunteers in the next 48 hours to come down here and help us to love on the residents, most importantly, and then to clean up their debris, go through their personal belongings and try to recover what's left," Gettys said.
Then begins the rebuilding of homes and lives, a process that could take months, even years, and more money than good intentions.
There are many reputable charities that you can send your donations to, but there are scams. Those sending donations are advised to check out the organization they send money to before writing a check.
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