The supplies are nice, but the Red Cross does not need blankets, water, or diapers. What they can really use is cash.
"We can turn that into help that's needed immediately," says Sherry Nicholson, with the Red Cross in Atlanta.
She tells WSB that getting items to the Houston area, and areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey, is difficult. Distributing those supplies is even more difficult, and the tractor-trailers carrying those loads can create blocked roads and trouble for law enforcement.
Besides, she says, anything that is needed can be purchased, and at a lower price by the Red Cross.
Take, for example, someone who arrives at a shelter soaked, with only the clothes they have on.
"A Red Cross worker steps up, wraps a Red Cross blanket around that person," Nicholson says, "and can give them a meal, can give them a comfort kit, which contains all those things we take for granted, like toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant. All those things we take for granted."
It costs the Red Cross about $17 to provide that. The recipient gets two blankets; one to line their cot and another to cover themselves.
Through the donations of restaurants, hotel chains and suppliers, the agency can buy what is needed.
They also send supplies to the disaster area, with one of those distribution centers located in our area.
A Red Cross Center located in Union City has sent truckloads of needed items to the Houston area.
Those items, like meals and blankets, have gone out. Cleaning items will go later.
"The mops, the shovels, the brooms, the bleach, as people are able to get back and maybe clean a little bit," Nicholson says.