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Disaster Relief Agencies: Giving Cash Is Best Way To Help Tornado Victims

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So many people immediately began collecting items, giving blood and heading to Moore after seeing the devastation Monday's tornado caused there. So many people immediately began collecting items, giving blood and heading to Moore after seeing the devastation Monday's tornado caused there.
"Those great intentions unintentionally create problems for people on the receiving end of those supplies," said Donita Quesnel, with the Red Cross. "Those great intentions unintentionally create problems for people on the receiving end of those supplies," said Donita Quesnel, with the Red Cross.
The Oklahoma Blood Institute says they need is people to make appointments to donate later, to restock the supply. The Oklahoma Blood Institute says they need is people to make appointments to donate later, to restock the supply.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

So many people immediately began collecting items, giving blood and heading to Moore after seeing the devastation Monday's tornado caused there.

A lot of people with the best intentions are trying to help in whatever way they can. But disaster relief agencies say what they don't need right now is people loading up trucks of supplies and sending them to Moore, because it creates logistical and manpower issues.

The need for that could come later, but they say the best way to help right now is with cash donations to reputable organizations.

"Those great intentions unintentionally create problems for people on the receiving end of those supplies," said Donita Quesnel, with the Red Cross.

5/21/2013 Related Story: How To Help Oklahoma Tornado Victims

City leaders in Joplin tell say they had so many supplies pouring in after that tornado, they had to find warehouses and designate people to drive the supplies there to be stored. They had so many clothes and shoes left over, they were donated to other agencies much later and they ended up storing tons of water.

After Katrina, Camp Gruber leaders say they received tens of thousands of pounds of clothes, shoes, toys and towels, and what was left over were given away to other agencies, because they just couldn't store it all.

Storing, sorting and distributing supplies takes a lot of people--people who could be handling more immediate needs.

Emergency leaders say a cash donation to a reputable organization is best.

"That's the lesson we've learned time and time again. Stuff isn't as important as cash, when it comes to the long term needs of people who have lost everything," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

When it comes to donating blood, we're told the supply is good right now. The Oklahoma Blood Institute says they need is people to make appointments to donate later, to restock the supply, as they would hate to have people give, only to see the blood products expire.

The OBI is asking people to make an appointment after June 24 to donate. In turn, they will make a $10 donation in your name to the disaster relief fund.

Make an appointment to give blood

Donations are needed and greatly appreciated. Agency leaders are simply trying to get people to donate in ways best for the victims.

If you would like to give a $10 donation to the Red Cross, you can text REDCROSS TO 90999. You can also go online or mail them a check.

Donate to the Red Cross

You can also give $10 by texting TORNADO to 32333. Those charges will show up on your cell phone bill.

Remember, scam artists will take advantage of this tragedy, so before you give, you can check out a charity to make sure it's legitimate.

Tips on avoiding scams from the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau

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