In Your Corner: What to donate to Hurricane Harvey victims and how not to get scammed

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL) – When devastation happens such as the heartbreaking events surrounding Hurricane Harvey, folks in the Volunteer State try to find a way to help.

“My heart just broke seeing all them people homeless and losing everything they had,” said Kevin Harper.

He is the former youth pastor at Christian Life Center in Kingsport. That church teamed up with Arnold’s Chapel Church to gather donations for those in need.

“We need plenty of water, I’d say baby formula, baby diapers, toiletries, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste soap, shampoo, things of that nature,” he said.

He said blankets, candles and batteries are also needed.

But Pastor Jackie Flanary at Arnold’s Chapel Church said some items aren’t needed at this point.

“We don’t really need clothes, that type of thing right now,” Flanary said.

But Glenda Bobalik with the American Red Cross said the best way you can help is either by volunteering your time or by making a monetary donation.

“It allows us to purchase the specific items that they need and to do so close to where they are, which eliminates cost of shipping,” she said.

One thing you need to be aware of is scammers.

Public Information Officer Tom Patton with the Kingsport Police Department says crooks often take advantage of this time of need to make some money.

“Unfortunately people prey on people when they’re vulnerable or the most emotional and that’s what we have in this situation,” he said.

Bobalik said their organization will never call you or come to your home asking for money.

“We advise people to always check if you have any questions and be a little skeptical at this point,” she said.

If you would like to make a donation to Christian Life Center you can drop it off at 2401 North John B. Dennis Highway in Kingsport. Or you can contact the church and they will come pick up the items for you. Their number is 423.288.2211.

To donate to the American Red Cross, you can click here or mail a check to 660 Eastern Star Road, Kingsport, TN 37663.

Make sure to write “Hurricane Harvey” in the check memo line.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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