CINCINNATI -- Matthew 25 Ministries has received so many donations to help its hurricane relief efforts that the humanitarian organization's Cincinnati arm found itself dealing with an unexpected "problem" Thursday night: It didn't have enough space to store all the goods that had been donated.
"Every time you come here, you leave feeling so lucky," community service coordinator Marcia Spaeth said. "(Donors) want to help people they don't even know because it could be us."
Matthew 25 Ministries and other humanitarian organizations across the country will spend upcoming weeks attempting to help the victims of two major hurricanes: Harvey, which devastated parts of Texas, and Irma, which is expected to make landfall in Florida around Sunday.
Spaeth said Harvey victims would not have to worry about being abandoned by aid workers as Irma struck the East Coast.
"There will be no transition," she said. "What we'll do is help Harvey and help Irma at the same time.”
CEO Tim Mettey added that the ministry is focused on developing local connections in areas struck by disaster.
"(Local organizations) know the people so much better," he said. "A lot of big organizations go in, and a lot will pull out eventually because they can't always stay there."
Working with organizations that will remain in the area long after the initial wave of aid workers leave helps create change that will continue to help the community throughout its years-long rebuilding process, Mettey said. Matthew 25 Ministries will do what it can to continue sending donations to the people who best know how to utilize them for the good of Harvey and Irma's victims.
Even in the face of overwhelming destruction and tragedy, Mettey believes there is reason to be hopeful.
"You see folks come together like this, and they're good. People are good. They want to do the right thing. They want to help people, and this is the perfect opportunity to help," Mettey said.