Experts say collecting clothing, food and supplies is noble, but it really doesn't help. Instead, you should go through a reputable organization, like the Red Cross. It has contacts in disaster areas who can say exactly what and how many supplies are needed.
The best bet is to keep it simple and donate money. That way, volunteers can get the right relief to disaster victims as quickly and efficiently as possible instead of wasting time sorting through things they might not be able to use.
There are also local efforts, Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach sends medical supplies from Central Illinois and uses donations to pay for shipping costs.
Other credible websites for national relief organizations:
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