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      Va. residents asked to donate cash for disaster relief

      RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is encouraging residents who want to help disaster victims to think about making charitable cash donations.

      The department says donations of food and clothing often pour in to areas that don't have the resources to sort and distribute items.

      Department state coordinator Michael Cline says such donations for victims of the recent hurricane and earthquake can actually make a bad situation worse.

      He suggests residents instead make tax-deductible financial contributions to local charities, faith-based organizations and the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund.

      --- Online: Virginia Disaster Relief Fund: www.disasterfund.virginia.gov