Monday, May 20, 2013

Oklahoma City tornado disaster relief help

A powerful tornado seriously damaged an Oklahoma City suburb on Monday, destroying homes, damaging cars and crushing two elementary schools filled with children during class session.

If you're looking for ways to help residents in Oklahoma, the following relief organizations are already working in the area according to various news sources:

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross has several shelters open in Oklahoma and Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles have begun delivering hot meals throughout the affected areas. The Red Cross is also working to link loved ones in Moore who are OK through a website called Safe and Well. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, donate online, or donate by phone at 1-800-RED CROSS.

Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City

Catholic Charities' disaster relief team is in the impacted communities providing counseling, emergency assistance and case-management to those families who have been displaced by the tornadoes. Donate via their website.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is activating disaster response teams and mobile feeding units to help residents and rescuers in Moore, OK, as well as in other locations in the Plains and the Midwest that were impacted by tornadoes. Donate online or text STORM to 80888 to contribute $10 to the Salvation Army's relief efforts or make a donation by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY. If you're sending a check make sure you put the words "Oklahoma Tornado Relief" on the check, and mail it to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK., 73157.

Operation USA

LA's international relief agency Operation USA announced it's providing emergency aid where needed to community-based health organizations across Oklahoma. Donate online at www.opusa.org, by phone at 1-800-678-7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, 7421 Beverly Blvd., PH, Los Angeles, CA 90036. You can also donate $10 by texting AID to 50555. Corporate donations of bulk quantities of disaster-appropriate supplies are also being requested.

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief says it has deployed at least 80 volunteers to respond to severe weather in Oklahoma. Those interested in helping can make a tax-deductible donation to the BGCO's Disaster Relief ministry online or call (405) 942-3800. You may also send checks to: BGCO Attn: Disaster Relief 3800 N. May Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73112.

United Way of Central Oklahoma

United Way is activating a disaster relief fund as of May 21 so that individuals can specifically donated to tornado relief-and-recovery efforts.

"Financial contributions are the best way to help unless otherwise requested." Donations can be made online.

Feeding America

Through its network of more than 200 food banks, Feeding America will deliver truckloads of food, water and supplies to communities in need and will set up additional emergency food and supply distribution sites. You can donate online here.

If you know of any other legit organization helping out with disaster relief efforts, please post them in the comments and they'll be added to this page pending review.

Sources: USA Today, NBC News

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