The generosity of the public following the Dec. 9 severe storms is helping affected communities to begin recovering from this disaster.
However, an outpouring of donated items can quickly exceed the needs of the affected communities, requiring supporting agencies to redirect manpower from providing direct services to managing donated goods that may not meet survivors’ needs.
The State of Tennessee is asking you not to donate unsolicited goods. This will support improved coordination with experienced disaster relief organizations and state/local emergency management offices so those in need quickly receive the right help.
The most effective way to support disaster survivors’ recovery is to make tax-deductible financial donations to trusted voluntary-, faith- and community-based charitable organizations. This gives them the ability to purchase, or provide vouchers for, what survivors actually need.
In addition, when these organizations or survivors purchase goods or services locally, they pump money back into the local economy, helping businesses recover faster.
To ensure your financial contribution is used responsibly, only donate to reputable organizations. Both the Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster: https://www.tnvoad.org/ and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster https://www.nvoad.org/ list trusted organizations receiving donations. The Tennessee VOAD website has a list of vetted disaster relief organizations providing services to survivors of the Dec. 9 storms.