Tips for donating to fire and other disaster victims

By Bethany Teague - Reporter

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - While many want to lend a hand to victims of the Tennessee wildfires, experts gave advice about how to be a help, rather than a hindrance.

Representatives from the Council of Community Services in Roanoke said if you want to donate, it is important to find an established organization that is on the ground near the disaster.

Cash donations are often more helpful than other items because groups can be easily overwhelmed with things that are not needed.

"It actually becomes a disaster in a disaster. That's how it's referred to in the emergency management community," said Council of Community Services director Alison Jorgensen. "It takes boots off the ground to sort and distribute all the donations that come in. A lot of things come in that are unnecessary and just can't be given out, so it takes time and money actually to get rid of those items."

Jorgensen said to contact an organization to see if volunteers are needed before showing up to a disaster zone.

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