**I am trying my best to keep this updated, but I’m out helping a good bit and am not at my computer. If you know of another way to help, please put it as a comment to this. Also check the comments too if you’re looking for something to do!**
I am constantly updating this list as I hear more you can do…
-First and foremost, STAY OFF THE ROADS IF YOU ARE NOT THERE TO HELP. Noah just called and said that I359 is completely backed up all the way, I’ve heard McFarland is a parking lot. There are a lot of sightseers out right now – if you are not directly volunteering, or are not emergency/disaster responders, STAY HOME.
-Two little girls in my class lost their homes. If you would like to donate personally to them, they are size 6 or 7. Anything would be appreciated, and I will make sure they get it.
There will be a Volunteer Reception Center at St. Mathias Church at 2310 Skyland Blvd across from WalMart beginning at noon and ending at dark on April 27, 2011. They will coordinate where you can go to help. Mayor Maddox came out this morning and said that volunteers might not be placed for 48 hours, but if you do want to volunteer, still go to Saint Mathias and at least ask. DO NOT show up at a damage site to try to work! The EMA is sending people to the appropriate places.
-Belk Activity Center is being used as a shelter and needs toys and clothes of all sizes.
-There will be a Mobile blood collection center at Northridge Fitness today…if you can give blood, help with that! They will be there until 7pm.
-I have a friend that is helping in Forrest Lake right now…they are in need of saws, hammers, gloves, etc. If you can make it there without crowding the roads, anything would help.
-Conserve water. The water treatment plant was destroyed, and they are asking that everybody (especially people in east Tuscaloosa) conserve as much as possible.
-If you have a home that isn’t destroyed and has power/water, take somebody in. If you know of someone that needs assistance, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and if I can’t help, I’ll find someone that can.
-I have a friend that teaches at University Place Elementary, which was completely destroyed. They are asking for school supplies, backpacks, and clothes for elementary-aged children. Once again, email me at the address above and I’ll be glad to put you in touch or get the things together.
-***The best things to donate now are toiletries, school supplies, baby products (diapers, formula, etc.), shoes (everybody’s shoes blew off of fell off in this), books, and backpacks. Clothes would be appreciated, but many of the shelters are getting a lot of clothes.***
-Give blood. Even if it doesn’t directly make it to Tuscaloosa, it will help somewhere else in need.
-The American Red Cross is the best way to donate financially. They are helping run the storm shelters here right now. You can go to redcross.org for more information.
-If you have extra clothes and toys, the shelters here are in need. I don’t know a direct way you can ship them, but if you’ll email me at email@example.com and I’ll give you my address…I’ll be glad to find a place for the donations.
-Pray. I don’t want to mention a lot of the things I’ve found out this morning because it’s just too much. Just put it this way – the news coverage doesn’t begin to do it justice. The loss in this town right now is catastrophic, and I don’t know how we’re going to recover. Please pray for safety, comfort, and peace.
-If you are in the central Alabama area, here is a link from al.com about ways you can help: http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/04/alabama_tornadoes_how_you_can.html
-This is one of the most comprehensive lists I’ve found…great source of information: http://legislativebarbie.blogspot.com/2011/04/tuscaloosa-tornado-relief-efforts.html
-If you’re in central Alabama, you can also check this page for places to donate items: https://www.facebook.com/PrayfortheTornadoVictimsofApril2011
-A local church is collecting donations, just mark them as “tornado relief”: http://www.fivepointsbaptist.com/
If there’s anything else you know of that you would like me to post here, please leave a comment.
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