The American Red Cross says it does not want local donations of food, goods, clothing and other physical items for its Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Monetary donations are the best and fastest way people can help the Red Cross aid disaster victims in Texas, the organization says.

Meanwhile, others in the greater Akron area said this week they will accept donated items — mainly diapers — as well as money to help people in Texas.

People are calling the Akron-based Summit, Portage and Medina counties Red Cross chapter looking to donate items to help Hurricane Harvey victims, spokeswoman Mary Williams said.

But the Red Cross cannot accept local donations of food, clothing and other things, she said.

“Physical goods come with a cost,” Williams said. The Red Cross would need, in addition to warehouse space, people to sort, clean and transport items, she said.

In the case of Hurricane Harvey relief, Red Cross priorities are to provide shelter, safety and food in Texas, Williams said.

“We don’t want to divert manpower from those priority areas,” Williams said.

The local chapter on Monday sent its emergency response truck to Texas and as of Tuesday afternoon said six volunteers from the greater Akron area were either in Texas or traveling there to help.

People displaced by the hurricane need money donations because that “allows people to take ownership of their own needs,” Williams said.

Local residents can help the Red Cross in Northeast Ohio deal with local disasters by volunteering with the organization, she said.

Red Cross chapters respond to an average of three fires a night in Northeast Ohio, she said. Volunteers, for instance, are always needed to install free smoke alarms in homes as part of an ongoing Red Cross program, Williams said.

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland also is taking part in an emergency monetary collection to assist Hurricane Harvey victims. This emergency collection will be taken up at all parishes throughout the diocese during the weekend of Sept. 9-10.

“As we witness the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding, the people in Texas and beyond need our support in the days, weeks and months to come,” Bishop Daniel Thomas, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Cleveland, said in a prepared statement.

The funds collected will be used to support the humanitarian and recovery efforts of Catholic Charities USA and to provide pastoral and rebuilding support to impacted dioceses through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

For those who prefer to donate items, the city of Stow is collecting supplies to benefit the Texas Diaper Bank now through Sept. 22 to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.

“We want to help in any way we can and the Texas Diaper Bank provides an essential service to families,” said Mayor Sara Kline.

Donations of diapers or money will be accepted at Stow City Hall, 3760 Darrow Road, and at the annual Stow Summer Sunset Blast on Saturday and Sunday at Silver Springs Park, at the Stow City Council booth.

“Summer Sunset Blast is a great example of the community coming together and this year the community can show its support for the communities of Texas by bringing along donations to the event,” council President Mike Rasor said.

The Texas Diaper Bank is requesting infant diapers of all sizes, toddler pull-ups of all sizes, adult incontinence supplies and disposable hygienic wipes.

Questions may be directed to the Stow mayor’s office at 330-689-2800.

Red Cross options to donate to Hurricane Harvey efforts:

• To donate online, go to www.redcross.org/donate/donation. Minimum donation, using either a credit card or PayPal, is $10. The “I Want to Support” pull-down menu has a Hurricane Harvey choice.

• Text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10.

• To send a check, print out a donation form from www.redcross.org/donate/donation and send to: American Red Cross, PO Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037-0839.

• To donate by phone or to ask for assistance with a donation, call 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669).

• For more information, go to redcross.org.

The Ohio Attorney General’s office this week cautioned people to be careful before making charitable donations intended to help with Texas hurricane victims.

The AG’s office said signs of a potential charity scam include:

• High-pressure tactics.

• No details about how a donation will be used.

• Refusal to provide written information about the charity.

• Organizations with names that sound similar to better-known groups.

• Requests for donations made payable to a person instead of a charity.

• Offers to pick up donations immediately instead of in the mail or online.

Anyone with questions about a potential charity scam can contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ