The Woodward News

May 23, 2013

Additional ways to assist tornado victims

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — Several organizations across Northwest Oklahoma continue to collect donations to send to assist the victims and survivors of the tornadic storms that ripped through central Oklahoma on Sunday and Monday.

The following is an updated list of those organizations which were reported to The News' as establishing collection efforts.

When available, The News has included some basic information about the types of donations being collected at each site, as well as where donations may be dropped off and how long donations are being collected.

For the most part, the most needed items include refreshments such as water, sports drinks, and individually, prepackaged snacks and food items.  Baby care items are also a big need, including diapers and formula. Other important items include clean up supplies such as trash bags and storage containers, as well as gloves and hand sanitizer.



LOCAL DONATION SITES

Chicken Express

The Chicken Express restaurant at 2205 Oklahoma Ave. in Woodward will be collecting items until 5 p.m. Friday.

Restaurant owner Jason Hill said the business is "taking anything and everything,"including diapers and baby clothes, toiletries, water and gatorade, canned food and packaged snacks such as peanuts and crackers.    

In addition, Hill said Chicken Express has teamed with a couple of local retailers to hold a raffle to collect monetary donations.  The raffle will coincide with the restaurant's weekly "Bike Night"tonight (Thursday, May 23) from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.  The winners, who will receive merchandise donated by Aaron's Sales & Lease and Five Star Biz, will be drawn at 10 p.m.

"We're just going to try to collect as many items and as much money as possible," Hill said, noting that he and his wife will then "personally deliver everything" to the main command center at the Baptist Church in Moore on Friday night.



Children's Arena of Services/First Christian Church

The Children's Arena of Services (CAS) organization in Woodward is sponsoring a "Toiletries for Tots" drive to collect needed baby items.  These include diapers, baby wipes, baby lotion, baby wash, towels, wash clothes, and even Dreft laundry detergent.  "We're taking anything that has to do with babies," CAS volunteer Kim Wilson said.  CAS personnel will be set up in the parking lot of the First Christian Church at 9th St. and Oklahoma Ave. from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today (Thursday, May 23) accepting donations in "our big yellow box," Wilson said. Donations can also be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays at the First Christian Church office. Items will be collected at the church through June 7.



United Grocery Stores

All Homeland grocery stores, which includes both the Southgate and Westgate United stores in Woodward, are currently accepting donations for the American Red Cross Tornado Relief Fund.  Financial contributions can be made at the register in increments of $1, $5, and $10.  And if customers are purchasing items to donate, all stores will have bins set up to collect the items at the front of the store.  The items will be distributed to rescue workers, volunteers and victims, with 100 percent of all financial contributions going directly to the tornado relief efforts.



Woodward Public Schools

Since at least 2 schools were greatly impacted by the large tornado that hit Moore, the Woodward Public School District has agreed to establish collection centers at each of the school sites in the district.

Superintendent Tim Merchant said needed items include water, gloves, work boots, packaged snacks, diapers and baby wipes to help meet the needs of those affected throughout the Moore community.

The schools will also be taking financial donations, which will go to the Cooperative Council of Oklahoma School Administrators (CCOSA) to be "distributed directly to those affected in the schools," Merchant said.

"It's much like the Boomer Relief Fund that we had here to help those in our school district last year," he said.

 If you would like to contribute monetarily toward this effort, Merchant said checks should be made payable to CCOSA School Tornado Relief Fund.

The superintendent said that donations will be accepted through Thursday as the school district will be sending collections down to the Moore area on Friday.



Woodward County EMS

The Woodward County EMS has set up collection barrels at both the Woodward Ambulance base west of 13th St. on Downs Ave. and at Woodward Regional Hospital.  The EMS is collecting everything from baby items such as diapers to work gloves to food and water or whatever people are able to give.  The items will be collected through Saturday.



Cross Spur Ranch

The Cross Spur Ranch will be heading to the Moore, Oklahoma City and Shawnee areas on Thursday.  Contact (580) 216-6672 or (580) 216-6671 for more information on how you can contribute.



Families Helping Families

The organization located in the Living Word Fellowship is taking donations in 4 ways:

• Monetary donations. You can make the donation at Living Word Fellowship Church, 13th and Oklahoma or go by BancCentral where Families Helping Families has set up a tornado relief account.

• Purchasing and donating a gift card

• Purchasing and donating a gas card

• Dropping off water or Gatorade at the church. A container will be in the church parking lot to store water and Gatorade donations and when enough is ready for a full truck load, it will be delivered to Moore.

Living Word Pastor Eric Cox said the goal is to have a truck load ready within 2 weeks. "I know from the experience (in Woodward) that after a couple of weeks people are going to need more supplies," he said.



AREA DONATION SITES

The Mooreland National Honor Society will have a booth at the Mooreland Elementary Field Day today (Thursday, May 23) from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. selling baked goods to raise money for the Moore tornado victims.  The group will also be accepting cash donations with all proceeds going to the victims of the Moore tornado.

Shattuck 4-H , FFA, and AG Boosters will also be having a bake sale in front of the Alco store in Shattuck on Friday, May 24th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  All proceeds will go to the tornado victims.  The groups will also be accepting donations of items such as tarps, batteries, plastic totes / tubs, animal care items.  Items can also be dropped off at United Petroleum in care of Kimberly Hamaker, any time between 8 am and 5 pm on Monday.

Several other area organizations are also collecting donations toward the tornado relief efforts.  This includes Gore Nitrogen in Seiling; the Buffalo Fire Department and Buffalo FFA; Fargo FFA and schools; the City of Canton; and Girl Scout Troop #5515 in Higgins, Texas.  If you live in these areas, please contact these organizations for more details about their various collection efforts.



STATE DONATION INFORMATION

The State of Oklahoma has launched a tornado relief site okstrong.ok.gov, which includes a "Donation Information" webpage listing several state and national organizations that are responding to the disaster areas.

These organizations include Red Cross and Salvation Army, as well as Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief, Oklahoma Blood Institute, United Way of Central Oklahoma, and Feed the Children.

The webpage includes information about the purpose and efforts of each organization as well as how you can get involved and make donations to assist those various efforts.