A woman who lost almost everything during the May 3, 1999, tornado that swept through Moore is helping to organize a relief effort for victims of Monday’s tornadoes. Anyone who would like to help is asked to bring donations of furniture, clothing, personal hygiene products or other items to a warehouse at 25 NW 9. The collection will kick off tonight with the Oklahoma Donation Tweet-Up. Volunteers can bring donations or help sort donated items from 5 to 8 p.m. Several restaurants will provide free food, and Samuel Gordon Jewelers donated a .34 carat oval diamond worth $1,100 to raffle to raise money for the Red Cross. Carrie Corbin, an organizer of the event, is an Oklahoma City resident who lost everything but the clothes on her back, a pair of sunglasses and a vacuum cleaner when a tornado destroyed her Moore apartment in 1999. She empathizes with the victims of Monday’s storms. "A situation like that is completely overwhelming,” Corbin said. "You don’t know where to go, what to do, who to reach out to.” Corbin and her daughter were able to get back on their feet with the help of friends and strangers who donated two households worth of furniture and gave them a place to stay until they could move into a new apartment. Corbin said she can never repay them for their generosity but this collection is a way to give back. Organizers would like help sorting donations and identifying families that need donations. After the kickoff, volunteers will be at the warehouse for nine days or until needs are met or supplies run out. People can also drop off donations at Oklahoma Employees Credit Union metro-area locations, said Lori Ford, a friend of Corbin’s who is helping to organize the event. Tornado victims must bring an insurance claim number to receive donations. Ford said the drive started as a grassroots effort online. It has developed a huge community following during the past few days, she said.
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How to helpFor more information, go to okdonationtweetup.eventbrite.com or search for the event on Facebook. Information is also available by e-mailing Lori Ford at lofo email@example.com.