Some Harvey donations haven't left Tucson

Updated: Oct. 23, 2017 at 4:52 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Some donations meant for families devastated by Hurricane Harvey in Texas still haven't left Tucson.

Stacks of bottled water, bags of clothes, boxes of hygiene products and other items can be seen in photos that first showed up Sunday, Oct. 22, on the Facebook page of Wide Bodies Car Club.

Adam Blue, club founder, said the following day that the pics from a garage in Tucson nearly brought him to tears.

"It's not just some water, it's their hearts that people are giving out," said Blue.

He said several clubs organized a car show at the Tucson Convention Center. Anything collected that day was passed along to another organization, Pin Me Up Chicana Style Tucson AZ.

The group's Facebook page, which was in operation Monday morning, was taken down by the afternoon. The group's president answered questions via phone call but did not agree to an on-camera interview.

She said there was difficulty finding a way to deliver the supplies at first, then an uncertainty of who to trust with the items. The group president added that donations could help any displaced individuals who wind up in Tucson.

Blue said several other clubs didn't receive much of an explanation for what happened. When he couldn't secure the original donations back, Blue collected new donations to support the homeless veterans at Bravo Base near Santa Rita Park.

With a check in his hand from his boss, Blue said he wanted to do something right even if it wasn't what people were originally promised.

"They want it to go where it needs to go," he said. "They should be out raged and appalled of the actions that were taken."

The Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona shared the following tips earlier this month to help people who are interested in donating essentials to natural disaster or national tragedies.

Blue said people losing their trust in smaller, local groups like the car clubs is his biggest fear from all of this.

"We really run on community donations," he said. "We run on others wanting to help the community and it makes people scared to help us. It makes people scared to donate."

After she was contacted for a comment, the head of Pin Me Up Chicana Style Tucson AZ said she coordinated a delivery of the donations with a trucking company to handle it by the end of the week.

Courtney Slanaker, Executive Director of World Care, said the relief agency is still sending trucks to Texas, so the need is still there.

She said any items that haven't been requested, like used clothing, can be distributed to Tucson-area organizations in need.

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