Organizations getting picky with item donations for hurricane victims

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Americans all over the country are giving to help Hurricane Harvey survivors but a lot of the well-meaning items donated in times of disaster often turn out to be of no use to those in need.

Most organizations in the Valley are getting selective about what they want to give and shelters in the South are not accepting all item donations.

St. Vincent de Paul in Youngstown is one of dozens of local organizations collecting items to bring to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

But disaster relief efforts and donations often bring problems.

“They want to send everything but what they don’t think is that people don’t have access to washers and dryers,” said Jessica Robinson, with St. Vincent de Paul Society.

With no power to wash clothing and not enough room to house certain items, a lot of donations go to waste. That’s why St. Vincent de Paul and others are picky when it comes to collecting donations.

“We’re taking supplies such as cleaning items. We need masks, bug spray is huge right now,” Robinson said.

She said although monetary donations always help, they’re trying to get items disaster relief workers in Texas say are desperately needed.

“We are getting direct contact from the folks that are there so we’re making sure that we have specific lists of items that we’re taking.”

Sanitary items, some food items, and school supplies will be loaded onto three box trucks from the nonprofit “Humans with Purpose” and driven down to Texas on Thursday.

“We are making sure that 100 percent of this gets to the people that need it. We’re going to a specific location that has not even been helped yet and we are making sure that these people get what they need,” Robinson said.

St. Vincent de Paul is also asking for gas station cards to help pay to drive the items down.

The organization will be accepting items at its location on W. Front Street in Youngstown from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Wednesday. Here is a complete list of all the items it needs:

  • Non-perishable food
  • Water
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Formula for babies
  • Baby food
  • Convenience food for workers (example: jerky, protein bars)
  • Fix a flat
  • Work gloves
  • Tire patch kits
  • Blister band-aids
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Foot powder
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • First aid kits (aspirin and ibuprofen)
  • Hip waders
  • New socks of all sizes
  • Rakes, shovels hatchets, etc.
  • Sun hats
  • Five-gallon buckets
  • Chainsaws
  • Battery-operated lanterns
  • Generators
  • Handheld can openers
  • Zip ties
  • Duct tape
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Tarps
  • Adult diapers
  • Toiletry items of all kinds
  • Shoes
  • New undergarments for adults and kids of all sizes
  • Phone and car chargers for iPhone and Android
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Pet supplies
  • Paper plates and towels
  • DAMP RID (available at Home Depot and Lowe’s)
  • Trash bags
  • Extra large Ziploc bags
  • Plastic totes

St. Vincent de Paul Society asks that you do NOT donate clothes.

For more information, call 330-333-3601.