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How You Can Help the Tornado Victims: Donate From Your Stockpile (+ more)

As most of you know, Joplin, Missouri was hit with a devastating tornado on Sunday evening. The pictures of the destruction are heart-breaking. People have lost everything — their homes, their belongings and their loved ones.

While not everyone is close enough to be able to go personally help with the relief efforts and many of you are on very tight budgets, so donating money might be out of the question, but there are things you can do to help — no matter your budget. Most of us have stockpiles of toiletry items we’ve gotten for free or almost-free. Here’s an opportunity to put them to good use!

***See my updated list of ways to help here.***

Melissa, a reader who lives very near the destruction, is helping with the relief efforts and she and I communicated yesterday about specific ways you all can help those in great in need in the Joplin area. Her husband’s ministry (Mustard Seed Global Fellowship) has teamed up with The Bridge (another local ministry) to form a shelter and supply distribution hub.

They can use all of the extra supplies you can send. Needs include:

::Non-perishable Food (most are without electricity and gas, so sending food that doesn’t need to be cooked is especially helpful)

::Toiletries (deodorant, shampoo, soap, body wash, razors, shaving cream, toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.)

::Diapers, wipes, formula


Please send the items to:

The Bridge
3405 S. Hammons Blvd
Joplin, MO 64804

They will distribute them to those who need them most.

Be sure to package your items securely. Wrap any bottles or items that might leak in plastic, to prevent spills in the box. If you are sending towels or clothing, please send items that are in good condition.

If you would like to give money, there are a number of relief organizations you can donate to listed here.

If you live in the local area and want to volunteer, or are looking for a donation drop-off point in a nearby city or state, check out the Joplin, MO Tornado Relief Facebook Page. There are numerous opportunities being listed there for volunteer help, as well as physical and monetary donations.

If you have other suggestions or specific ways to help, please leave them in the comments.

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  • Nancy says:

    I’m in Wisconsin and thinking about driving a carload of toiletries etc. down to Joplin. Anyone know where I would take this things to be distributed or do I just find the area and personally hand out to people who need them? I’d like to do this ASAP so please respond immediately if you have any info.

  • Traci A says:

    For folks looking for info on how/where to donate or send supplies, there are some links that provide a lot of info. (For example, some places don’t want clothes but others–like churches–will still take clothes. And for folks who are worried about getting items mailed directly into Joplin, there are a lot of agencies outside of Joplin collecting goods and then trucking them in.) Here are some useful sites I’ve found:

    Comprehensive spreadsheet of all agencies collecting items/taking donations:

    How to Donate:

    “How You Can Help”:,0,7283502.story?page=1

  • Bonnie says:

    Someone may have addessed this already, but has anything been set up to help OKC area tornado victims? I live in OKC and would also like to send them stockpile items, just don’t know where to….. Thanks! God Bless you all for helping.

  • MaryAnn says:

    I live about 30 minutes from Joplin and one thing I would like to mention that I had heard on the radio today. They said the best way to help Joplin is to remember them in 3 weeks. There has been a huge outpouring of help almost to the point of overwhelming but many people are afraid as the weeks pass people will move on to other things and they will run short. I am planning on working on stocking up the next few weeks and then donating when they are getting low again.

  • Robin M says:

    Just wanted to share for those in the Houston, TX/The Woodlands, TX area–

    It looks to me like Paul from “I Heart the Mart” ( is going to be delivering items to Joplin personally, with his church:

    Just thought I would share.

    Thanks, Crystal, for all you do!!

  • Denise Silva says:

    If your church or a church you know of has been impacted by one of the recent natural disasters, we want to help! Please call 1-800-447-1070 for a free year of curriculum from Children’s Ministry Magazine~

  • connie says:

    Thank you Crystal! We were able to send out 2 boxes (flat rate, 10.95 each) of helpful items and are happy to be a part of the helping, what a great opportunity for our kids to be a part of helping others as they gathered clothing and books to share.
    ps How are you? Been wondering, now with the warnings in Oklahoma. Will Pray!

  • Carly says:

    I live in Joplin. Mail service has actually not been suspended. They are holding mail at one of our post offices for residents who have lost their homes or whose homes were in the damaged/destroyed neighborhoods.

    Like people have already said, donating money (via: ) would be best. Please, please, please do not send money or checks to individuals. Donate through the Red Cross. However, if you feel like it would be better for you to mail items, EVERYTHING is needed right now, such as:

    Personal Hygeine Products of all sorts
    Leather Gloves (for clean-up)
    Pre-paid cell phones
    Manual Can Openers (people are receiving canned goods, with no way of opening them..)

    My home was undamaged, and I have spent time going through allll of our household items to find things to donate.

    Local businesses have been amazing. Target has a table set up at the entrance with free toiletry bags. People are grilling food and giving it away for free all over town for the vollunteers and impacted residents.

    Businesses are opening their doors and serving as “Vollunteer Rest Stops”.

    There are free tire repair stations set up because whe you’re driving through the streets of the impacted neighborhoods… you’re driving over boards with nails still in them, inevitably flattening tires.

    Groups of people are calling into the radio stations offering their help (free, of course) and giving out their personal phone numbers over the radio to be contacted by homeowners who want a few hours of clean-up/belonging recovery help.

    I’m just amazed at how everyone has really pulled together… but it breaks my heart that they could still have so many bodies to recover. We have nearly 1500 people still unaccounted for at this time.

  • Carly says:

    Also, in reference to what someone said about blood donation… last I heard we were still only urging people with Type O-Negative to donate at this time (although donating if you have another blood type wouldn’t hurt).

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