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Local donor fatigue sets in after two hurricanes hit the United States

After the recent hurricanes, organizations, like the Salvation Army, worry they could experience donor fatigue. (Image: WTVC)

Two hurricanes hit the United States in two weeks, meaning the need to help people has doubled.

For people living and helping with the recovery efforts in Texas and Florida, the disasters are far from over but the need to donate is still there.

Donor fatigue is a term relief organizations use and hear a lot. It's when people stop donating to a place or organization they have donated to in the past because it has just become too much for them.

After the recent hurricanes, organizations, like the Salvation Army, worry this could happen.

First, Hurricane Harvey slammed southeast Texas with rain and caused flooding for miles all throughout the Houston area.

Here in Chattanooga, it didn't take long for people to begin collecting items to donate to the people living there devastated by the damage.

But then, this weekend, Hurricane Irma made land fall in Florida. Heavy wind gusts destroyed the Keys and parts of Miami.

That's where Maurizio, Nicole and little Camilla live.

"We just got a lot of debris. A lot of palms and trees that fell to the ground," said Maurizio.

The three of them drove up to Chattanooga after they were forced to evacuate.

"We had to sleep a couple hours in the car, which was really tough. It just makes you think about a lot of people that live like that almost every day of their lives," Nicole added.

They're safe and so is their home. Many others aren't as lucky.

Major Robert Lyle is the commander for the Chattanooga Salvation Army.

He just returned from serving Harvey's victims hot meals while they dealt with the floodwaters.

"The Salvation Army feels that this will probably be the largest disaster that we've faced in America since we've been formed," Lyle said.

At first, he watched as donations poured into Texas.

But, as the days past, he says those donations slowed down.

"When the media moves out, the donations stop," he said.

For those feeling fatigue, Lyle gives this advice.

"Give what you can give. Don't put yourself in a bind because you're trying to help someone else," he said.

But, do remember that people living in Texas and in Florida still have a long road ahead.

To donate to the Salvation Army in Chattanooga, you can stop by their office or donate online.

The office is located at 822 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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