Reach Out to Tornado Victims in the South

A few days have gone by, the skies have returned to blue, but nothing will ever return to normal for untold numbers of Southern Americans. The flurry of tornado activity that struck has claimed more than 340 lives, and there are still more than 600 people unaccounted for, so we know those grim numbers will rise. Those who made it out with their lives may not have much more than the clothes on their backs since homes, schools, businesses, entire communities were destroyed.

The folks at GOOD magazine have put together a list of organizations through which you can reach out, and it is not just the usual suspects of Red Cross and Salvation Army. The resources include (abridged list here, go to their website for complete article):

United Way of West Alabama accepts nonperishable food items, clothes, tarps, and feminine hygiene products. You can also make cash donations, all of which will stay local, by credit card at

Feeding America: Feeding America distributes food to local food banks providing meals to states hit by the tornadoes. Donate to them here.

St. Mark United Methodist Church in Northport, Alabama is serving as a shelter for the displaced, and you can send it nonperishable food and clothes. If you’re in the area, they could also use volunteers with medical training.

Red Cross has set up temporary shelters across the damaged states and is providing meals and medical assistance to families. As usual, you can donate $10 to their relief effort by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999. You can also donate online or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services is providing food to the displaced. You can donate $10 to them by texting “GIVE” to 80888. To donate online, go to, and to give via phone, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and specify you’d like to designate your funds for the “April 2011 Tornado Outbreak.”

Alabama Emergency Relief Fund: The Alabama Governor’s Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives steps in when other avenues of relief have been exhausted. Go to to give money or volunteer time.

Mississippi Disaster Recovery Fund is run by the governor’s office, and you can offer up cash or time. Visit

Portlight (help for the disabled) is a nonprofit that assists America’s disabled, a service made all the more important by a horrible natural disaster. To help tornado victims, Portlight will be identifying those most in need and giving them $100 debit cards. Click here to donate to their cause.

>>>Additionally, here are a few more resources to explore whether you can help from near or far…

Hands on Birmingham is the volunteer resource for Central Alabama, and will connect you directly to where your volunteer time and efforts can be best used.

The Crimson White is the student newspaper of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa (one of the hardest hit communities), and they have an interactive map of volunteer opportunities throughout the area.

Volunteer Match is a national database of volunteering opportunities, and they have complied a listing of tornado volunteer efforts in need of volunteer workers. See how to get involved here.

Much of the work in the actual communities will be hard, physical work, with debris removal and cleanup, but don’t think you can’t make a difference even if you’re not up to manual labor. People need help distributing food, clothes, and medical supplies, volunteer administrative organizers, communications assistance, and so much more. There is something you can do from home, or in the areas where “home” is just a memory right now. Don’t wait.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on October 3, 2011 at 6:32 AM

    many people are dying because the are making slaves


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