US

Typhoon relief: Forget the old clothes; money preferred form of charity

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 file photo, signs for help, water and food are written in the street amid the destruction left from Typhoon Haiyan in the coastal town of Tanawan, central Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and thousands of people dead. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 file photo, signs for help, water and food are written in the street amid the destruction left from Typhoon Haiyan in the coastal town of Tanawan, central Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday leaving a wide swath of destruction and thousands of people dead. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 file photo, Rudy Asercion, executive director of the West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service center in San Francisco, right, hugs Arturo Marasigan, as he prepares boxes for donated items for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The massive storm that hit the island nation Friday has affected at least 11 million people. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 file photo, Rudy Asercion, executive director of the West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service center in San Francisco, right, hugs Arturo Marasigan, as he prepares boxes for donated items for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The massive storm that hit the island nation Friday has affected at least 11 million people. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 file photo, a tourist donates money for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines during a fund-raising campaign on a street in Seoul, South Korea. Signs read, "Aid donation for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 file photo, a tourist donates money for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines during a fund-raising campaign on a street in Seoul, South Korea. Signs read, "Aid donation for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)  (The Associated Press)

Faced with heartbreaking images of the typhoon-ravaged Philippines, the world is watching an epic tragedy unfold and looking for ways to help.

Experts say in the aftermath of massive disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan, it's best not to send rummage sale clothes, old toys and supplies that will only pile up undistributed or undermine an already weakened economy. They urge those who want to do good to send a cash donation to a charity with a proven track record.

A Red Cross official says the agency buys goods locally or domestically after disasters to help revive the economy, curb transportation costs and guarantee culturally appropriate items are being used.

Several relief groups have made online appeals for financial help and contributions often can be designated for this particular disaster.