Many of you who have been reading my blog have asked how to help. Rusty Smith, my friend who works for United Way, posted this about ways to help through United Way and its agencies. There are many churches also coordinating efforts for donations and volunteers. The University of Alabama is coordinating donations through its Acts of Kindness fund. You can go through the Red Cross and make a monetary donation or donate blood.
Remember us in the coming weeks. The clean up efforts and re-establishing lives will take much longer than a few days. We will need assistance in the weeks and months to come as well. Thank you.
United Way of West Alabama
West Alabama Tornado Assistance and Information
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, April 29, 2011 – Please find below the information which needs to be distributed to tornado victims and their families in West Alabama. Survivors need to register at tuscaloosa.com to help those searching for the missing; West Alabama Food Bank (Northport) has comfort care kits available for pick up and is accepting them for donation. Please keep in mind, you all are the sole source for many victims of the storm to receive the information listed below due to a lack of cable service in the area.
Housing: Contact 2-1-1, United Way’s Information & Referral Service, for information on low cost housing options in West Alabama. ClassiTides.com is publishing daily lists of low cost housing. People who have lost homes can call 1-800-621-3362 to report the loss.
Shelters: Harvest Church has shelter and food for people in Northport, contact Curtis Burnette, 454-2414; Temporary Emergency Services have showers; G.G. Harden Center in Brookwood has restrooms to freshen up, no showers; Belk Activity Center is housing 560-600 people.
Food/Water: Food/Water stations for victims (not volunteers) are located at Leland Shopping Center, Locklear Dodge off Greensboro, Fire College at Bruno’s Supermarket, Skyland Elementary. American Red Cross is at Belk Activity Center and can provide assistance with food and shelter but victims not required to stay there to receive food; Forest Lake Baptist Relief Center providing meals for volunteers; Portable kitchen set up at Rosedale.
Donations: GREAT NEED for ready to eat and non-perishable food items, tarps for covering roofs, and clothing (especially underwear, socks, and new or VERY gently worn tennis shoes are desperately needed), newborn and baby items including diapers, formula, and wipes. Monetary donations can be made to United Way of West Alabama from now through August 31 with 100% of donated money going directly to West Alabama tornado relief efforts by visiting www.uwwa.org/donatenow.html. Donations are being accepted at the following: United Way of West Alabama; Boy Scouts on Jack Warner Parkway; Temporary Emergency Services; Salvation Army in Northport; Leland Shopping Center (2601 University Blvd.); Fire Logistics Building in front of Bruno’s on McFarland Blvd.; T-Town PAWS, Metro and the Humane Society needs pet supplies and can be dropped off at United Way of West Alabama.
Debris Removal: Local contractors who are willing to provide free debris removal should contact 205-248-5800. Also, Samaritian’s Purse is doing free debris removal and putting tarps on people’s homes. This is being coordinated at First Baptist Church and services are all free. The contact number is 205-345-7554.
Volunteers: Tuscaloosa County Spontaneous Volunteer Management Team will host the Volunteer Reception Center at St. Mathias Episcopal Church at 2310 Skyland Boulevard East in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, April 30 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. ALL individuals wishing to volunteer should report here to sign up and find out about volunteer needs available, and some volunteers will be placed immediately. Depending on your skill set, your information may be taken, and you could be contacted once a volunteer need becomes available.
Help from Outside West Alabama: While offers of help are greatly appreciated from all who have reached out to the West Alabama community, local law enforcement is asking for individuals from outside West Alabama to not come to the area for approximately 72 hours due to road conditions. Please contact 2-1-1 if you have non-monetary donations for West Alabama for instructions on getting these donations to the area. Also, monetary donations are greatly appreciated at www.uwwa.org/donatenow.html.
For more information about the ways to give and get help call 2-1-1, United Way’s Information & Referral line, or visit http://www.uwwa.org/news to donate
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