How To Help Tornado Victims

(NBC News) The tornadoes in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and other states are wreaking havoc, but relief efforts are underway. Local schools, churches and community organizations lucky enough to escape damage are coordinating food and shelter for displaced residents and accepting donations of food, blankets and other much-needed items.

The scope of larger recovery and relief will be known once the tornadoes have cleared, but major charities are mobilizing. Here are some ways you can help those hurt by this disaster:

American Red Cross
The Red Cross has set up shelters in various communities. You can donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund here, and the organization also suggests giving blood at your local hospital or blood bank.

If you want to send a $10 donation to the Disaster Relief fund via text message, you can do so by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999. As in the case with other donations via mobile, the donation will show up on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your balance if you have a prepaid phone. You need to be 18 or older, or have parental permission, to donate this way. (If you change your mind, text the word STOP to 90999.)

Phone: 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767); for Spanish speakers, 1-800-257-7575; for TDD, 1-800-220-4095.

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief
This organization says donations will "go straight to help those in need providing tree removal services, laundry services and meals to victims of disasters."

It is requesting monetary donations (It says clothing is NOT needed). For more information, and to donate, visit Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief's website.

You can send checks to: BGCO, Attn: Disaster Relief, 3800 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK., 73112.

Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is organizing disaster response units to serve hard-hit areas in central Oklahoma, including Moore, where it is sending mobile kitchens that can serve meals to 2,500 people a day, and to South Oklahoma City.

Supporters can donate online via the organization's website, SalvationArmyUSA.org. You can also text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation via cellphone.

If you want to send a check, the Salvation Army asks that 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.

Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

Feeding America
Through its network of more than 200 food banks, Feeding America says it will deliver truckloads of food, water and supplies to communities in need, and will also "set up additional emergency food and supply distribution sites as they are needed."


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