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How to help tornado victims

Several nonprofits are collecting donations for tornado victims. Many indicated that financial donations are preferred over supplies.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: June 14, 2013 at 11:16 am •  Published: June 6, 2013

As relief efforts are ongoing to help people affected by the May tornadoes and flooding in central Oklahoma, The Oklahoman and NewsOK continues to list all the ways people can help. Most are emphasizing that they need cash donations in lieu of donated items, although dropoff sites continue to be listed here. Unless otherwise noted, the area code for the phone numbers is (405).


Two websites are cordinating volunteers: and Interested volunteers can sign up online or by calling (866) 484-3500. For the next three weeks, All Saints Catholic School, 4001 36th Ave NW in Norman, will be the distribution center for donations from Feed the Children and needs volunteers from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. To help, go to the school and fill out a form.

Feed The Children has set up a distribution point at the Multi-Agency Relief Center at Little Axe Schools, 2000 168th Ave. NE in Norman. Also, the organization's McCormick Distribution at 29 N McCormick is still accepting donations, but the other locations have been shut down. To donate to Feed The Children in other ways, call (800) 627-4556, go online at, or text “DISASTER” to 80888.

Habitat for Humanity is seeking help with long-term rebuilding efforts and aid to families who will require safe, affordable places to live. Habitat will initiate construction on homes for these future Habitat homeowners within the next year; the organization anticipates a great need for donations. In addition to the monetary donations to go to homebuilding efforts, Habitat accepts in-kind donations from corporations able to provide roofing, plumbing, drywall, lumber and other material for building a home. Those interested in making a donation, volunteering or learning more about Habitat’s efforts are encouraged to contact Ann Felton Gilliland, chairman and CEO of Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity, at, James Lamey at or Christi Roney at or to call (405) 232-4828. Secure donations can also be made online at by clicking “Donate to Oklahoma Tornado Victims.”

The Oklahoma Farm Bureau and Affiliated Companies’ main office at 2501 N Stiles, is accepting donations for those affected by the recent tornado. Items needed are bottled water, sports drinks, paper towels, disinfectant wipes, individually wrapped snack food, diapers, baby formula and work gloves. A trailer on the office’s west side will accept donations for as long as needed. For more information, call 523-2347.

Graceway Baptist Church, 1100 SW 104 (, will serve as a drop-off location for donations of ibuprofen, adhesive bandages, gloves, batteries and hand sanitizer. The church also has teams of people willing to help with cleanup and other work.

Oklahoma City University has organized several relief efforts. Ongoing efforts and ways to help are listed at

Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, has mobilized for long-term disaster recovery in Carney, Little Axe, Moore, Shawnee and other areas affected by the recent tornadoes. The organization is in need of donated 10-gallon storage tubs . The tubs, which will be used for recovering possessions lost in the storms, can be delivered to Catholic Charities’ main office in Oklahoma City, 1501 N. Classen Blvd. Catholic Charities is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Catholic Charities’ Disaster Recovery Services offer aid to Oklahomans with immediate and long-term needs during the recovery process. To learn more about or make a monetary donation to Catholic Charities’ Disaster Recovery Fund, visit or call 523-3000.

The Southgate Baptist Church at 740 SW 4 in Moore is seeking items to help with relief efforts: body soap, adult socks, children’s socks, underwear of all sizes, men’s shoes, hand sanitizer, wipes, plastic bins, denture cream, work gloves, towels and washcloths, heavy-duty trash bags, sun block, aloe vera, water, Gatorade, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, push brooms, rakes, shovels, basic medical supplies. For information, call Sarah Marshall at 627-0558. partners with Sooner and Quail Springs malls to help rebuild Moore schools. will use donations to fund classroom recovery projects for critical supplies, such as clothing, food, books, therapy resources, teaching materials, technology and classroom furniture. Visit to support the effort.

RescueNet, an international disaster relief team, is working with Emmanual Baptist Church in McLoud to help victims of the Shawnee tornado by serving meals, distributing items and dispatching cleaning crews. The group needs baby items, water, gift cards, fuel donations and more. For information, go to the church, 16901 S Fishmarket, or call 273-0040.

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department is asking that medical personnel and others who want to volunteer to help with disaster relief in the OKC-Moore area to go to the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) website at OKMRC is designed to bring together different healthcare-related organizations and members of the community, including physicians, nurses, public health workers, and other medical professionals. In addition, volunteers without a background in medical training are needed. To volunteer, go to and click on “OKMRC Inquiry” and click on the opportunity link for more information about volunteering.

The OKC Furniture Bank, a ministry of First Baptist Church of OKC, needs good quality, immediately useable furniture to distribute to families affected by the recent tornados, as well as to maintain an ongoing supply for local refugee and working poor families. Basic furnishings are needed, such as couches, love seats, living room chairs, dining room tables and chairs, lamps, end tables and coffee tables. The furniture bank also needs volunteers with pickups or other trucks to help in both locations — 901 N Moore Ave. in Moore and 3922 NW 10 in Oklahoma City — on Saturdays to help pick up donations and deliver furniture to families in need. The group also need volunteers to help organize furniture arrivals at each location. Sign up to volunteer at

If you want to help support the hub of volunteers and distribution at Journey Church in Norman, go online to to sign up for shifts. The site also will accept donations for long-term recovery needs.


The Salvation Army Arkansas-Oklahoma Division has dispatched disaster response teams and notes that it is in most need of donations, with a need for volunteers in some places.

The Salvation Army needs volunteers at the Westmoore High School Multi-Agency Relief Center (MARC) and the Salvation Army tornado relief center at Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads, formerly known as Crossroads Mall, 7000 Crossroads Blvd. Volunteers must be 18 or older and will assist with direct service to those affected by the recent tornadoes. Shifts are 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. daily. Individuals or groups can contact the Volunteer Coordinator at

Here are updated ways to donate:

- By mail: The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 2536, Oklahoma City, OK 73102. Designate Oklahoma May Tornadoes on all checks.

- By phone: (800) 725-2769.

- Online:

- By text: Text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation with your mobile phone; to confirm your gift, respond with the word “Yes.”

- Also, the Salvation Army wants to people to know that it cannot guarantee that additional in-kind donations will be used directly for the Oklahoma tornadoes because of the demands associated with delivering them. Instead, the organization urges people to donate gently-used items to a nearby Salvation Army store; find locations at

The American Legion, a national veterans’ organization, is allocating $1 million to veterans to be used to cover relocation expenses for veterans and their families who lost their homes in the disaster. Those wishing to donate to The American Legion National Emergency Fund can call (800) 253-7000,Ö donate online atÖ or mail checks to The American Legion NEF, PO Box 1055, Indianapolis, IN 46206.

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits has started a new website, here nonprofits can post their needs and what they are doing to help. A number of Oklahoma nonprofit organizations are assisting in the first and continued waves of response for disaster relief. The center hopes this will be a neutral link between nonprofits and donors. Contact Lindsey Fry at if you are offering help in any of these areas: direct care or relief to residents in affected areas; food, shelter or services; a collection or drop-off point; volunteer coordination; long-term assistance for families or businesses; or other services. For more information, go online to

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, in partnership with Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, is asking that the public support all rescue, recovery and disaster relief efforts with donations of cash to your favorite responding charity. Financial donations will allow disaster relief agencies to purchase items deemed necessary without resulting in the additional burden of securing warehouse space and volunteers to sort donated products. To make a tax deductible donation to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, go to or call 604-7111or text FOOD to 32333 to give $10 to relief efforts.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief is working through local United Methodist churches and trained disaster response workers to provide immediate relief, assistance with cleanup and rebuilding, pastoral counseling and support for children and youths who have been through trauma. To donate or receive more information, go online to It also has established a 2013 May Tornado Relief fund, with 100 percent of donations going to Oklahoma tornado survivors’ needs. Anyone may donate directly online by clicking the red “Donate” button at Gifts also may be given through an Oklahoma United Methodist Church or mailed to: Treasurer’s Office, United Methodist Ministry Center, 1501 NW 24th, Oklahoma City, OK 73106.

Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge has started a Plaza Towers Memorial Fund with a goal to put a storm shelter in every Oklahoma school. The business started the fund with a $100,000 donation. Donations can be made at, which is being administered by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. Additionally, gifts can be made by sending a check to Plaza Towers Memorial Fund c/o Oklahoma City Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1146, Oklahoma City, OK 73101-1146. For those with donation questions, please contact Rhonda Godwin at or 606-2916.

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief teams are responding to severe weather in several locations, including Shawnee, Edmond, Little Axe, Moore and El Reno. Those interested in helping can make a tax-deductible donation to the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s disaster relief ministry, by visiting or calling 942-3800.All money goes toward disaster relief and helping victims. For photos, information and updates, visit the Oklahoma Baptists’ blog at

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) has set up an Oklahoma City Tornado Relief Fund, dedicated to gathering aid from across the Jewish Federation community for victims of the tornadoes. JFNA has opened the donation mailbox to support relief efforts of the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City, and is coordinating relief efforts with the Oklahoma City Federation. Donors can contribute to the fund online at or send checks to the JFNA national mailbox at: The Jewish Federations of North America, Wall Street Station, PO Box 148, New York, NY 10268.

The Concerned Clergy for Spiritual Renewal, a ministerial group made up primarily of preachers of churches in northeast Oklahoma City, has reactivated its “Oklahoma City Christian Relief Fund” to respond to needs resulting from recent tornadoes.

The Rev. J.A. Reed, senior pastor of Fairview Baptist Church, said the fund is set up at Arvest Bank. The Rev. Major Jemison, senior pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, is the fund chairman. Send donations to OKC Christian Relief Fund, P.O. Box 17452, Oklahoma City, OK 73136. He said checks should be made payable to Oklahoma City Christian Relief Fund. For more information, call Reed at 642-5295 or call 235-8820.

A domestic disaster relief team from Operation Blessing International, one of the largest humanitarian organizations in America, is en route to Moore with a construction unit, mobile command center, trucks full of tools and supplies and a team of construction foremen. To donate to the relief effort or for updates, go online to

United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Disaster Relief Fund is open. Donations may be made online at, by phone through (405) 236-8441or by mail to United Way of Central Oklahoma, P.O. Box 837, Oklahoma City, OK 73101 with notation for May Tornado Relief. Funds will be distributed without administrative fees to United Way Partner Agencies working on the tornado relief efforts. The organization is not accepting clothing or household items. To offer assistance with equipment, personnel or resources, please include and forward the following information by email to name, city and state, contact number and type of resource/services.

Donations of hot food for survivors and first responders should be directed to the American Red Cross by calling 228-9500.

Contributions to the Tulsa Community Foundation’s Moore & Shawnee Tornado Relief Fund can be made securely online at Donations can also be mailed to TCF offices at 7030 S Yale, Suite 600, Tulsa, OK, 74136.

The Oklahoma Credit Union Foundation provides disaster relief assistance to credit unions and their employees and volunteers. For more information, go to The Credit Union House, 631 E Hill, is accepting donated items for disaster relief.

First Fidelity Bank is accepting cash or check donations at all of its Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Phoenix branches. All donations will be forwarded to the American Red Cross. For more information, call 605-2003.

Raindrop Helping Hands is accepting donations for the Moore tornado disaster relief. Checks should include “Moore Tornado Relief” in the memo line and can be mailed to the office at 4444 N Classen Blvd. For more information, call the Raindrop Turkish House at 702-0222.

F&M Bank has established a disaster relief fund for tornado survivors. Donations by cash or check, will be accepted at any of F&M’s eight locations in Oklahoma City, Edmond, Guthrie, Piedmont, Crescent and Kingfisher or checks can be mailed to F&M Bank, 1800 E Oklahoma Ave., Guthrie 73044. F&M Bank was founded in 1902 as Farmers and Merchants Bank.

Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma is raising money to support Girl Scouts and their families with a Tornado Relief Fund. To donate $10 via cellphone bill, text the word GIRLS to 20222. Find more information at or Monetary donations can also be made at any of Girl Scout council offices.

The City of Del City and the Del City Chamber of Commerce, in coordination with Tinker Air Force Base/Tinker Naval Station, is accepting financial donations of cash, checks or gift cards to help between 30 and 50 active-duty military personnel stationed at Tinker Air Force Base who were affected by the recent tornadoes. In 2011, the City of Del City formally adopted the 552d Air Control Wing as part of the America Supporting Americans to support military units in times of need. It is providing support to all airmen and sailors who were affected by the tornadoes. Drop-off location is Del City Municipal Building, 3701 SE 15, Del City 73115. Label monetary gifts “Tinker Tornado Military Relief Fund” and drop them off during normal business hours or in the night deposit box or mail them to the address above. No goods will be accepted.

The University of Oklahoma Women’s Philanthropy Network has created the “Help OUr Neighbor Fund” to benefit OU faculty, staff and students who lost homes or personal property in the recent tornadoes in the Oklahoma City/Moore area. All donations received in this fund will go directly to those students or employees whose homes and property were lost. To donate online, go to Or, mail in contributions to The University of Oklahoma, Office of Development, 3339 W Boyd, Norman, OK 73019-3202. Make checks payable to the OU Foundation and designate “Help OUr Neighbor Fund” in the memo line.

Comfort Keepers, a metro home care company for seniors and other adults, has partnered with the Oklahoma Areawide Aging Agency on the Oklahoma Tornado Senior Relief Fund to help seniors in the affected tornado areas to get the everyday items they need. Items can be taken to Comfort Keepers, 3601 S Broadway Ave., Suite 650, Edmond. Call 242-5300 for items needed.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Norman is working with the Oklahomans affected by the recent tornadoes. The society does long-term case management, intake and referral of resources for those who had loss and damage due to the storms. St. Vincent de Paul is a founding member of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters. To donate, mail checks to SVdP Diocesans Council of OKC, c/o Betty Olivas, 1611 Abe Martin Dr. Norman, OK 73071. For information go online to

The Domestic Disaster Response team from World Vision is in town helping with relief efforts, bringing relief supplies and emergency kits. To support World Vision’s efforts, visit or text “TORNADO” to 777444 to provide at $10 donation that will replenish the organization’s supplies.

Lewis Jewelers, in partnership with The Vine Community Church, is raising money for a tornado relief fund that will go to specific families that need help. To donate, go online to or make checks out to the “Tornado Relief Fund” and mail them in care of Lewis Jewelers, 2705 S Service Rd., Moore, OK 73160. The jewelry store is owned by Tim Lewis, brother of Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis, and the tornado took out its warehouse, Tim Lewis said. Consumers can make $5 tornado relief donations to the American Red Cross at 14,000 Chase ATMs nationwide.

The Knights of Columbus Oklahoma State Council is organizing relief efforts in and around Moore, making an initial donation of $10,000 in support of the Oklahoma Knights’ response and accepting online donations to assist relief and recovery through Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc., at Donations may also be mailed to: Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc., Oklahoma Fund, P.O. Box 1966, New Haven, CT 06509-1966. All donations collected by Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc., will be sent to those affected by the disaster.

Quail Springs Baptist Church, 14613 N May, is accepting monetary donations at the church and has listed other ways to help at its website, Checks can be made payable to QSBC Storm Relief. For more information, call 755-9240.

The Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre will solicit donations for disaster relief during its run of “Greater Tuna,” scheduled through June 16 at the Civic Center Music Hall’s Freede Little Theatre, 201 N Walker. For more information, call 848-3761.

Crossings Community Church, 2208 W Hefner, is no longer accepting donated items but is accepting financial donations can be made online at Sign in or create an account, select “missions” and then select “disaster relief fund” to send your donation directly to tornado relief. Crossings is also working with the international humanitarian relief organization Convoy of Hope, which has sent a team to Moore with supplies from its World Distribution Center in Springfield, Mo., and is accepting additional items at Crossings’ south Oklahoma City location at 8900 Shields Blvd. Drop off items from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. To make a contribution to Convoy of Hope, go online to Donate $10 via cellphone by texting the word CONVOY to 50555.

SAFE AND WELL is the Red Cross site where you can register yourself as safe, or search for friends and family members. Call 211 for nonemergency services and information.


The Oklahoma City Community Foundation has established a Tornado Recovery Fund to provide assistance for intermediate and long-term recovery efforts. Find out more at


To donate blood to the Oklahoma Blood Institute, find a location at


Various groups working to collect lost photographs in the tornadoes' aftermath have formed an Oklahoma Photo Rescue project to return them to their owners. The effort is sponsored by local volunteers, the Moore Chamber of Commerce, local businesess and the National Disaster Photo Rescue. For information, go online to Official photo dropoff locations include Arvest Banks, Walgreens, Dental Depot and Studio Innovations.

The Oklahoma City-based Candid Color Photography is collecting photos found in the tornadoes’ aftermath and scanning them in so victims can browse through them. For updated information about how to drop off photos, go online to

A Facebook page called “Moore Oklahoma Lost and Found” has been established as a place for posting lost or found items. Check out!/MooreOklahomaLostAndFound for information.


A group of data and forensics professionals known as “The Computer Rescue Team” is working to help people recover digital data, such as family photos and other personal files. The team includes local computer experts, the city of Moore Public Library and premier data recovery labs. The group urges cleanup crews that find digital devices to set them aside carefully. It they are wet, they should leave them wet and seal them in a plastic bag to prevent oxidation. Computers and other damaged devices may be dropped off at the Moore Public Library, 225 S Howard Ave., for processing. For information, go online to www. computer rescue team. org.


The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry encourages anyone who finds an animal to bring it to the pet triage location at the Moore Home Depot, 650 SW 19. Pets can receive proper veterinary care and have information put in a database of lost pets. The pet triage center is operated by department and volunteer veterinarians and staff members. Photographs of the pets will be posted on the McClain County Animal Response Team’s Facebook page and at Owners are encouraged to visit the triage center to report their missing pets and to visit the online pages to determine if their pet has been located. For more information, call 837-7240.

Central OK Humane Society is accepting donations to be used to help animals hurt or displaced in the storm. To donate, go online to

Animal Resource Center is taking in stray pets. The center is in need of supplies (dog food, etc). 7941 S I-35 Service Road (I-35, east of Shields), 604-2892.

Organizations that provide support for dogs and owners affected by the tornadoes can receive assistance from the American Kennel Club and AKC Companion Animal Recovery Canine Support and Relief Fund. Pet owners and shelters in need can call (212) 696-8228 or email for more information. People who would like to donate to the relief fund can go to


UPDATE: Venue changed for this event: A group of musicians led by Generationals, a touring act from New Orleans, will headline “HealOK,” a tornado relief concert to be held at 7:30 p.m. June 19, now at The Opolis, 113 N Crawford. Having gone through similar turmoil and devastation when Hurricane Katrina ravaged their hometown, band members volunteered to play the show for free to raise funds for American Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma working to help those affected by the tornado. Also joining the concert is Skating Polly, The Wurly Birds, Grace + Sophia and Moore High School students who wrote a song for a friend who lost his mother in the storm. Advance tickets will be available at and at the door for $10. Additional donations to American Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma and Jeany Neely Memorial Fund will be accepted at the show, and Heal OK prints will also be available for purchase with all proceeds benefiting tornado relief efforts.

The a cappella group OK City Chorus will hold its annual show at 7:30 p.m. June 15 at the Donald Reynolds Auditorium in Norman and will donate a portion of its proceeds to benefit tornado victims. For tickets and information, got to or call 720-7464 (SING).

Compiled by Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Assistant Features Editor. Send your “how to help” items to /b>


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