Donating in times of disaster: what to and what not to donate

Hearts are moved when disaster has strikes a community. Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and other types of disasters can suddenly change the lifestyle of a family, community or country. Churches and civic organizations desire to get involved. Below are the top five donations most often needed following any disaster:

  1. Financial donations are the best kind of donation to make, which is explained further below. Funds (cash donations to Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery) can be given online here.
  2. Gift cards to grocery stores or big box stores operating in affected areas, so the family can go and purchase new clothes, underwear, socks and food on their own.
  3. Paper products: paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates, napkins, plastic cups and utensils.
  4. Baby diapers
  5. Travel size toiletry items put together in a large zip-lock bags designated men, women or children.

Additional items needed only when specifically requested:

  • New underwear and socks for adults and children
  • Cleaning supplies: mops, buckets, bleach, cleaning solutions, plastic gloves, shovels and rakes
  • Used furniture and appliances, needed in the long-term recovery period of the disaster

Items that are NOT NEEDED as they can become a burden on the community, volunteers and disaster survivors:

  • Used clothes, all sizes
  • Used mattresses

Providing a financial contribution to a vetted volunteer agency active in disaster relief or long-term recovery is the efficient way of helping people in need after a disaster. These organizations have disaster skills in many areas and are often comprised of the faith-based family. Before you donate to any disaster response organization make sure the organization is a member of the local or state VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters), and is an organization with a good reputation and record of service.

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery stands ready to assist in the long term recovery phase of a disaster which lasts two to five years. Funds are needed to assist. We are continuing to serve in the Houston and Central Texas areas affected by flooding. Give online at here or mail checks to:

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery
7557 Rambler Road, Suite 1100
Dallas, Texas 75281

For more information contact Marla Bearden – Disaster Recovery Specialist and Chair of the Recovery Committee for Texas VOAD – at (214) 537-7358 or

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