August 30, 2017
Writer: Sydney Jensen
Efforts to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey have begun as humanitarian organizations mobilize to help feed, mend and support those left in the storm's path.
Matt Ochsen, who represents the Red Cross in Idaho and Montana, says the organization has been trying to balance it's resources between Harvey and this year's fire season, but have been able to send locals down to help in the clean-up efforts.
"A lot of their assignments will kind of be made on the fly once they get down there," Matt Ochsen, Public Relations Representative for Idaho and Montana, told BYU-Idaho Radio. "It's a very fluid operation now...since there's so many things happens and it's changing all the time."
Most organizations, like the Red Cross, Salvation Army and even local charities, have encouraged people to donate money instead of clothes or food. Ochsen says that the monetary donations are useful from a logistical stand point, but also provide a way to instantly boost the impacted local economy.
"A monetary donation logistically is so much more efficient and easier to get to the people who need it most quickly," Ochsen said. "One of the bigger benefits of a cash donation is that we can spend that money to help those folks right there in their community. Their economy is facing a very difficult time right now because of that situation, so we're able to not only most efficiently and effectively help those people who have been displaced, we can also help the economy around them at the same time."
Donations can be made to the Red Cross by phone or online.
You can listen to the full interview below.