Tornado Relief Efforts Seek Variety of Donations

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

With the death toll from the catastrophic tornadoes in the South climbing to over 350, there are many organizations that have created relief efforts to support victims.

- One effort aims to collect prom dresses, shoes and accessories for tornado victims at Trenton High School in Dade County. The items will benefit students who still want to have their prom on May 14. If you have clothing items that you would like to donate, call Tara Pearson at 678-839-4763, or bring it to the office located in Sanford Hall by Friday, May 6, at 5 p.m.

- Donations via cell phones or computers are being accepted by the American Red Cross, which set up two shelters in Tuscaloosa and temporary homes for around 240 people. It has provided meals to more than 600 people, and the effort still needs financial support. To donate online, visit RedCross.org, or on a wireless phone text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to donate $10, or call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) to give money or to schedule a blood donation.

- The Salvation Army has made relief efforts all over the South, including helping with sustenance for tornado survivors in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Donate via their website at www.salvationarmyusa.org, text “GIVE” to 80888 to make a $10 donation, or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

- Save the Children is also providing food, doctors and education for children in need of help. The organization is accepting donations at its website at www.savethechildren.org  and by phone at 1-800-728-3843. A Christian humanitarian group, World Vision, also focusing on children, aims to lessen the emotional shock from the outbreak of tornados. To donate to the organization, visit www.wvi.org  or call 1-866-56-CHILD.

- Catholic charities are also accepting donations for tornado victims. Donate to these charities by visiting www.catholiccharitiesusa.org or by calling 1-800-919-9338.  Additionally, the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund also accepts donations in the form of credit card or check on the website servealabama.gov.

- Harnessing the power of social media, including sites such as Facebook and Twitter, may also provide relief for tornado victims. Patty Bouillon started a Facebook page that posts pictures of found photographs and items blown away by the tornadoes. She began the page after finding these items in her neighborhood that came from Smithville, Miss., a town 100 miles southwest of her home. Those near the disaster area who have found photos, mementos and other items, are requested to scan them or take photos of them and post them to the Facebook page, “Pictures and Documents Found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes.” There are over 600 photos and items on the page, with 40 already identified.