How to donate to Red Cross Hurricane disaster relief

Many metro organizations pitching in to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey in a variety of ways

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Metro relief agencies are doing what they can to send help to people in Texas, and care packages are coming together one item at a time.

Jim Mitchum with Heart to Heart International is flooded with requests for help -- especially for personal hygiene kits. Ten palettes worth of them are waiting for a ride south -- where they'll be distributed on Wednesday.

"When people are escaping a disaster, whether it's a hurricane or fire or tornado, they don't have time to grab the essentials in their medicine cabinet. That's where we come in," Mitchum said.

Officials in the Houston-Galveston areas say at least eight people have died -- as Hurricane Harvey pummeled the Magnolia City -- leaving ruined homes and flooded interstates in its wake.

"We believe Houston is going to evolve into one of the most significant disaster responses we've seen in the past decade," Mitchum said.

Joyce Schau is waiting by the phone -- as she anticipates orders to go to Houston. She's the director of social services for the Salvation Army division in Kansas City.

"We're in the middle of our own local response for flooding we've seen around here in the past weeks, but that's nothing like we'll see there," she said.

Schau says her time there will be spent tending to people's emotional needs -- many of whom have lost everything they own.

"Everybody handles everything that happens to them in a different way. Our job is to go in and be a listening ear, and be a considerate caring person they can talk to," Schau said.

Operation BBQ Relief is also preparing to visit Texas. That group -- which is based in Pleasant Hill, Mo. -- often feeds first-responders working at the site of disasters. Their leaders hope they can provide nourishment for people who have nothing.