Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tornadoes in the United States: How Can You Help?

The outpouring of support for the people affected in the wake of the devastating tornadoes in the United States last week has been remarkable, and Girl Scouts across the country are always eager to help in many different ways. We know, however, that after natural disasters like these, sending funds is often the best way to help.

Below is a list of ways individuals can help.

The Red Cross has opened 22 shelters in 11 states for displaced residents and continues to assess damage in the region. Local Red Cross chapters have dispatched emergency response vehicles to provide meals for hundreds of residents and first responders. Go online to make a donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your mobile device.

Salvation Army canteens and mobile feeding units are providing meals to victims and first responders in Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee. The organization served more than 200 meals at an evacuee center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and set up a shelter at the Cleveland, Tennessee, office. To support the Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Services fund, go online or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769). Make a $10 donation to The Salvation Army Midland Division serving Missouri and Southern Illinois by texting ARCH to 80888.

Team Rubicon, a disaster relief organization composed of veteran volunteers, has sent two-person Veteran Response Teams to Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. Team Rubicon's mission is to "unite the skills and experience of military veterans with medical professionals" in crisis situations.

Samaritan's Purse sent five tractor-trailers with emergency supplies and equipment to damaged areas in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. Go online to donate to the Samaritan's Purse Disaster Relief Fund.

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this disaster.