As you have probably heard by now, over the weekend, Joplin, Missouri was devastated by severe weather that resulted in a tornado that ripped through the town. The storms destroyed nearly a quarter of Joplin’s homes and businesses. The death toll has reached at least 118 and it continues to climb as volunteers search through the rubble for survivors. Currently, about 1,500 people are still unaccounted for.
Whether you have relatives that were affected by the storms that swept through the Midwest over the weekend or not, there are a number of ways we all can help the victims of the destruction.
According to CNN, the following organizations can provide you with ways to help:
American Red Cross
The shelter in Joplin is located at Missouri Southern State University, and the Red Cross is working to provide transportation to the shelter for those in need. The Red Cross is also distributing food, cleanup supplies and comfort kits, and sending health workers to provide immediate care. Text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or visit the website to donate, give blood or volunteer.
The Heart of Missouri United Way has established the Tornado Relief Fund to help victims. Text “JOPLIN” to 864833 to make a $10 donation, or call 1-573-443-4523. The United Way of Greater St. Louis is accepting donations and volunteers to help those impacted in the Joplin area.
Those interested in volunteering should list their availability and expertise on their Joplin Storm Recovery Volunteer Form.
For more opportunities to volunteer with United Way, call 1-800 427-4626.
The Salvation Army has mobilized four feeding kitchens in impacted areas of Joplin. It is also providing relief to other cities that were hit by the weekend tornadoes in Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas and Oklahoma.
The Salvation Army’s disaster-relief efforts in Joplin can be supported by texting “JOPLIN” to 80888 to make a $10 donation. You can also donate through their website or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
AmeriCares has sent disaster-relief personnel to Joplin, and it’s working with Access Family Care Clinic to help victims. This expands AmeriCares’ tornado relief operation, which has been assisting various Southern states as they recover from their own recent tornado outbreak. Donations to AmeriCares can be made online or by phone at 1-800-486-HELP.
You can also click here for a list of ways you can help.
Before you donate money or materials to any organization, make sure it is a legitimate charity.
Photos source: MSNBC