Upstate continues donating to Hurricane Harvey victims

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – The outpouring of support for Hurricane Harvey victims continues here in the Upstate. Folks are having donation drives for necessities, but emergency response officials would rather have money. FEMA is asking people not to donate unsolicited items like clothes or home items.

Sabrina Wheeler and relatives stood along John B. White Sr. Boulevard with signs in hand and a goal in mind after watching victims devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

“It was heartbreaking,” Wheeler said. “I would hope that if it was me or my family or my community that people would rally around us and really come out and help.”

She shares a mentality among many people looking to help when disaster strikes our neighbors.

“I don’t want to give a monetary donation because where is that money going?” she said.

Major Pete Costas with the Salvation Army of Greenville, Pickens and Oconee counties said the Salvation Army is not accepting in-kind donations for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, but is urging people do donate gift cards or cash instead.

“The Salvation Army is a national organization and when there’s a storm, it’s for that storm,” said Major Costas.

As of Thursday, the Salvation Army has deployed 71 mobile feeding units to Texas.

Costas says using a device like your phone to make a monetary donation from here in the Upstate helps those on the ground in Texas work more efficiently.

“When you’re helping people in bulk like that – just massive numbers of people – it’s just too difficult to receive truckloads of mixed donations, to sort through those,” he said. “Don’t create a disaster in responding to a disaster.”

He says smaller agencies or churches may be able accepting those material donations, but larger agencies like the Red Cross also help the smaller organizations when necessary.

People can call 1-800-725-2769,  text ‘STORM’ to 51555 or click HERE to go online to donate through the Salvation Army.