Does American Red Cross accept in-kind donations?

Howdy,
We often receive offers from folks who would like to donate food items or used clothing items to help disaster victims.
We ask the volunteers who field these offers to be sure and say “THANK YOU for thinking of your Red Cross and for wanting to help disaster victims begin their recovery.”
We then typically direct folks to a local partner agency in the local community that routinely handles donations of used items (in Springfield MO that would be our friends at the Salvation Army (417-866-9426) for clothing and household items and Crosslines Food Pantry for food items).
The way this works is that when we verify that a disaster victim is in need of assistance, we help them financially and with referrals to other agencies (including agencies like the Salvation Army and Crosslines in Springfield who then provide additional assistance.)
Which is to say, when you donate your in-kind items to one of our partner agencies, you ARE helping us help our disaster clients and we do thank you very much!
If you have questions about larger donations (a pallet of work gloves or flashlights, boxes of NEW clothing, etc.. please drop us a note at: info@redcross-ozarks.org
(Cash contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund also always welcome! =)
The “official” explanation from the Donation FAQ at www.redcross.org :
I would like to donate clothes, cars or other items to charity. Does American Red Cross accept in-kind donations?
The American Red Cross does not accept or solicit small, individual donations of items for emergency relief purposes. Small items such as collections of food, used clothing, and shoes often must be cleaned, sorted, and repackaged which impedes the valuable resources of money, time, and personnel that are needed for other aspects of our relief operation. The Red Cross, in partnership with other agencies, suggests that the best use for those types of donations is to support needy agencies within donors' local communities. The best way to help a disaster victim is through a financial donation to the American Red Cross. Financial contributions allow the Red Cross to purchase exactly what is needed for the disaster relief operation. Monetary donations also enable the Red Cross to purchase relief supplies close to the disaster site which avoids delays and transportation costs in getting basic necessities to disaster victims. Because the affected community has generally experienced significant economic loss, purchasing relief supplies in or close to the disaster site also helps to stimulate the weakened local economy.
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