News Column

How to Help Oklahoma Tornado Victims

May 21, 2013

State and local relief efforts are under way to help tornado victims in Moore, Okla.

Kansas emergency management officials recommend that anyone wishing to contribute to the efforts donate cash rather than goods.

"It is such a heartbreaking situation we are witnessing with our neighbors in Oklahoma and I know a lot of people want to help because that is just the way Kansans are," Gov. Sam Brownback said in a written statement. "We see a need and we want to do something about it. The best way we can help right now is to donate cash so that emergency relief organizations can purchase exactly what is needed when it is needed."

Kansans should contact disaster-relief organizations of their choice, such as the American Red Cross (, Salvation Army ( or United Way ( or local organizations to find out how they can help.

Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, adjutant general and director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, said that people who want to volunteer their time and services should go through official channels rather than act on their own.

"We understand everyone wants to help, and we also realize volunteers who self-deploy mean well," he said in a written statement, "but they sometimes forget their presence will put a strain on food and shelter resources needed to help storm victims. It's better to let relief organizations know that you are available and what skills and other resources you can bring. Then they can contact you if and when your help is needed."

A number of state and local organizations are offering ways to help:

-- The Salvation Army says money is the most critical need. Donors are encouraged to give online at, or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

People also may text the word "STORM" to 80888 to make a $10 donation through their mobile phone. Respond with the word "Yes" to confirm a gift.

Checks should be designated to "Oklahoma Tornado Relief" and be mailed to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK 73157.

A team of ministers and volunteers from the Salvation Army Kansas and Western Missouri Division was leaving Tuesday morning to provide spiritual and emotional care to survivors, first responders and the Moore community.

-- The American Red Cross-Midway Kansas Chapter also urges people to send money rather than goods.

Donations may be made by calling 1-800 RED CROSS (733-276-2767), or by visiting

People also may text "redcross" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Donations also may be sent or delivered to the Red Cross office in Wichita, 1900 E. Douglas, 67214.

Checks may be designated for "Oklahoma Spring Storms 2013" or "Disaster Relief."

-- The United Way of the Plains is directing people who want to make financial contributions to the United Way of Central Oklahoma Disaster Relief Fund. That fund may be reached through the website or by calling 405-235-3534. Funds also may be sent to the Wichita office at 245 N. Water, Wichita, 67202. Checks with the memo "Oklahoma Disaster Relief Fund" will be forwarded to the Oklahoma fund.

The organization says that no administrative fees will be charged, and 100 percent of each gift will go to disaster recovery assistance.

-- GracePoint Church is accepting donations in its lobby at 9035 W. Central through 10 p.m. Tuesday. A delegation of church leaders and volunteers will take a truckload of supplies to Oklahoma within 24 hours.

Donations also are being accepted at by clicking on the Support Moore Oklahoma banner.

The church is asking for hygiene products, first-aid supplies, baby items, batteries, flashlights, and gallon-sized Ziploc bags. It is not accepting clothing.

The church will accept monetary donations all week. Checks may be made payable to "Kansas Tornado Relief" (memo: Moore tornado).

-- Star Lumber and DalTile & Stone, which have facilities in Oklahoma City that were spared direct damage, are combining to collect clothing, blankets, food and water. They will deliver the donations to a Red Cross location in the Moore area.

Donations may be dropped off at the DalTile Warehouse, 2012 S. Edwards; Star Lumber West, 325 S. West St.; or Star Lumber East, 2621 N. Greenwich Road.

-- Clinic in A Can is sending a medical clinic to Moore. The organization, an offshoot of Wichita-based non-profit Hospitals of Hope housed inside a converted shipping container, also is seeking volunteer medical professionals to work in the clinic in Moore. Volunteers can call Daniel White at 316-262-0953.

The organization is also accepting donations of new medical wound-care supplies. Donations will be accepted on Clinic In A Can's behalf by Audacity Church at 10100 Grady Ave, Maize, KS 67101 which is the Maize City Hall, until 10 p.m. Tuesday. They will be delivered to the Clinic In A Can in Moore on Wednesday.

For more information, call 316-262-0953 or visit

-- Heroes Sports Bar & Grill will accept donations of goods for Moore on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 117 N. Mosley in Old Town. Heroes' staff is asking for items such as clothing, non-perishable food items, pet food, batteries diapers, and baby formula. Staffers and patrons plan to drive a brigade of trucks filled with goods to Moore.


(c)2013 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: Copyright Wichita Eagle (KS) 2013

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