WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – We continue to see devastation from the aftermath of Harvey and we as Kansans have the natural tendency to donate. Right now, the best type of donation is money but some want to donate things of use, like food and clothing items.
At WSU a lot of people have stepped up, wanting to be involved. So, WSU’s Veteran Association found out there are ways to donate supplies but you have to work through FEMA to make sure your efforts land in the right spot. That’s what this WSU group did.
“We didn’t have the logistical capabilities to deliver this stuff,” said Veteran Association President, Jared Smith. “Our original thought process was let’s find an organization that needs it and let’s reach out to them and make sure they have the means to deliver the goods.”
Smith says this is the first time the group has organized a centralized contribution for natural disaster victims.
“We’re taught how to operate under the worse conditions and everybody here would be more then willing to help out,” said Smith.
However, that hasty nature to help, mixed in with his military background meant he knew that the best thing to do was reach out to an official agency for direction. Smith called FEMA. So, Wednesday KSN spoke with Kansas’ regional FEMA director for direction.
“One of the requests we’ve gotten is asking volunteers not to self-deploy,” said director Mike Cappannari. “We are understanding that folks have good intentions and very much wanting to help but from a management standpoint, that can create more of a problem in terms of organization and knowing where everyone.”
FEMA suggests people find organizations that are directly setup to distribute and organize help for victims. You can find some of those organizations here.