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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 MoneySavingMom.com 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

::Towels

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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100 Comments

  • Chrissy Whiting says:

    The shelters in Joplin are desperate for paper plates and eating utensils. There is also great need for diapers, formula, and bottled water! I have organized a drive at my offices for these items (we are planning to take them personally on Saturday).

    Drop off in person:
    Knox Laboratory-Tulsa (57th & Memorial)
    Knox Laoratory-Bartlesville (Hwy 75 in Patriot Plaza)

    Or send donations to:

    Knox Laboratory
    c/o Chrissy Whiting
    2230 SE Washington Blvd #103
    Bartlesville, OK 74006

    • Crystal says:

      Thanks, Chrissy!

      • Ashley says:

        Hey Crystal! I would love to help. I have some toiletries and even toddler girl clothes I can send. I will put together a box and ship this week to the address in the post. I would also like if you could allow me to repost certain info like address to send stuff too. For my blog. I wanted your permission first so I’m not “stealing” your content. Thanks for putting this out here!
        Ashley

    • Judi says:

      Chrissy, is your area okay now? I am sick watching what is happening in Oklahoma now.

      We have a local group of about 10 couponers. I could ask if they wanted to donate, and would be willing to drive our stuff down the 12 hours to Joplin and drop it off at one of the ministries.

      • Chrissy Whiting says:

        Judi!

        Thank you and thanks to God for keeping everyone here safe last night! I really believe that Joplin needs all the help they can get, and you would be blessed doing that! If I can help in any way let me know!

    • stephanie patton says:

      I have tons of cloths that I am sending down to Alabama. Should I also send them to Joplin? If so what is the best way to send the cloths to you all? I am in North Carolina.

  • Meagan Hammond says:

    What about pet food? I have 70 boxes of purina cat food that I got for free that I would like to donate. I am sure many people still have little 4 leggers to feed 🙂

  • Chrissy Whiting says:

    You’re welcome, Crystal! Thanks for helping me save a ton of money, so that I am able to give back like this! 🙂

  • Donna says:

    I’m sorry, but sending stuff to Joplin doesn’t make a lick of sense. The postage/shipping will cost far more than the items. Sending money…unless you live close by, makes more sense. The problem is that everyone wants to help, but many don’t have money.

    • Crystal says:

      You can actually ship a box quite inexpensively. And if it’s $40 or $50 worth of items, it can actually make a big difference.

      Donating money is wonderful, but spending $8 to ship a box worth $50 in supplies (that you bought for free or almost free) might actually be making your money go farther in many situations — especially if you are sending items they desperately need.

      Donating in any way is wonderful — whether that be time, supplies, money, blood, prayer… just give in whatever way you can!

      • shelly says:

        Didn’t know if you had seen this, but all mail delivery to Joplin has suspended for the time being. No idea when USPS will start delivering to this area again. Just a heads up so those wanting to help out!

    • Sarah in Alaska says:

      This was my thought too, sort of. Rather than say it doesn’t make a lick of sense, I thought what of my stockpile I could sell locally so I could donate money to the Red Cross instead.

    • Roxanne says:

      I just checked on the USPS website and a 20lb box would be $42.70 to send to the zip code linked.

      Does anyone know if Fed Ex or UPS has better rates?

      • Mary H. says:

        Depending on the size of the individual items you are sending, perhaps a flat rate Priority box from the Post Office would work. The largest size is $14.95 and I know I can fit a lot of items in that box

      • Eli says:

        If you are shipping a box larger than 12″ then you are better off going with UPS or FedEx. I found this out the hard way. I had to ship a cookie order via USPS and they changed the rate after I quoted shipping costs and it was too late to take to UPS. It was $35.00 to ship the box and then I shipped a similar box at UPS for $15.00. So unless you are using the priority box’s I would suggest UPS.

    • Mandy says:

      I was able to fit 6 full sized body washes, 2 trial sized body washes, 3 packs of razors, 8 deodorants and one pack of pantiliners into one medium flat rate box. Shipping will be $10.95 for over $35 worth of stuff that I got for either free or better than free. I have several more items I will be boxing up to send as soon as I have more tape. I am currently pregnant and cannot donate my type O- blood which is what is needed. To me, it makes more sense to do my donating this way.

  • Nic P says:

    I know Joplin has had a major amount of damage, and I’m not trying to take away from that, but the media reports and such, are focused on Joplin and they will get help. I just wanted to mention losses in Siloam Springs and other places. Just take a moment to look around at other smaller places where there may be a need as well. My aunt and my cousin suffered a complete loss of their home in Siloam Springs and seemingly most of their belongings. NOW to top it all off, it’s raining all over everything that is there to search through.

    I hope it’s not coming across like there isn’t a great need in Joplin, because that’s not my intent. Just trying bring attention and broaden the spectrum of the damage that just happened.

    • Carla Sorensen says:

      I am so sorry to hear about your aunt and your cousin. How awful for them.

      Carla in Maryland

    • Amanda says:

      Thanks Nic. If you know any way we can help people in the smaller, “forgotten” areas, please let us know. I’ve helped with flood recovery projects in a small area before and understand the great need that is not communicated to people at large. I’m no where near the midwest, so I have no idea where all was hit and how to help. So any info would be great.
      Thanks, Amanda

    • Melissa says:

      Hi! I am the Melissa mentioned up there. I will let the workers at the Bridge know about the needs in Siloam Springs (or any other smaller community) and they can make a contact. They have semis full of stuff coming in right now. Do you know of a church or organization there that can get in touch with? E-mail me with info, please!

    • Melissa says:

      Also, if you are on facebook you can “like” The Bridge, and give them the info yourself if you prefer. They are asking for specific locations that need help and they are sending teams out with supplies.

    • Alysia says:

      Nic P. Joplin was hit harder than any area has been hit by a tornado in over a century. They NEED all the help they can get, more than any other disaster area at this moment. I live in Joplin, and don’t want anyone taking this lightly.

      • Traci says:

        But Alysia, a home lost is a home lost. No one is taking Joplin lightly. We are all devestated for them. Just because there was widespread damamge in Joplin, that doesn’t diminish the damage done in Siloam Springs.
        The same thing happen in Vilonia Arkansas, near where I live. “Only” 40 or 50 homes lost, so compared to Tuscalusa, it was minor, but try telling that to the residents of Vilonia.

        • Teresa says:

          Traci, pleaseI pray have compassion for Alysia. She is going through a very stressful time. Try to walk in her shoes. Words of love and kindness will always build up. We all need to pull together to help as many in need as we can: both physical and emotion needs. Thank you for informing us of other places in need.

      • Jennifer says:

        Noone is taking this lightly Alysia. I know that Joplin was harder hit but the losses to individual families are the same no matter where you are. If the entire country is focused on helping Joplin and sending supplies and someone suggests that people not forget that there are others who were also affected by the weather and have been left homeless it should not be considered taking the situation in Joplin lightly but instead being capable of seeing a need outside of what is highlighted on the news. I am very sorry for the losses in Joplin and I certainly hope that people do help but please don’t forget that Joplin (although hardest hit) is not the only city in this past month that has had severe tornadoes that have caused a lot of destruction to property and loss of life. Now is not the time to be selfish but instead to make sure that people help as many who are in need as possible.

  • Jill says:

    Maybe some of the “Extreme Couponing” celebs will donate from their ginormous stockpiles. I live about an hour and a half east of Joplin and our church has already taken one trailer down with supplies, with another going on Thursday. Also, our school district has a 24ft. trailer leaving tomorrow morning to distribute to the families in the Joplin district. Praying for all involved and petitioning our Father to keep the storms tonight from blowing through the area already so devastated. It’s supposed to hit there around 9pm tonight, more super high winds and a good chance of more tornado activity. It’s heading our way too, so as we’re praying for our safety, the victims of the Joplin storm will be in our hearts and covered in prayer as well.

  • What about donating blood? People have been injured and of course all the people that were already in the hospital. I’m sure their blood supply is low and could use some help.

    Here’s a little fact: Only 5% of the people who are eligible to donate blood do so! Only 5%…that’s not much! Donating is a great way to give back to your community and you might just save a life in the process.

    • Helene says:

      Speaking as a two-time recipient of blood transfusions (non-tornado/disaster related), believe me when I say how much donated blood means. I can’t begin to imagine what may be needed in a disaster such as this. Please consider giving if you/family/friends are able.

    • Melissa says:

      Yes! There was a code red for O-neg yesterday. It’s been lifted, but any blood donation would be wonderful. I understand that you can ask specifically for your blood to come here if you donate.

  • Carla Sorensen says:

    I agree that donating blood is a great thing to look into! I have had two fairly recent surgeries and am unable to do so myself right now, but I have in the past, and will do it again after I have a fuller recovery.

    Carla

  • MJ says:

    Thanks so much for posting this. We live in the Joplin area and so appreciate your efforts.

  • Erin says:

    If anyone would like to donate goods in the Wichita area, send me an email. I have a dear friend who lives in Joplin and if I can gather supplies I would be happy to drive them down. I don’t have a stockpile but I do have a car and gas money! 🙂

    erin_manning_ at hotmail.com

  • Tina B says:

    This would be a great use for our Amazon Mom/Subscribe and Save benefits – free shipping, guys!!

  • If you have amazon.com credits from swagbucks, why not buy diapers via subscribe & save / amazon mom and have them shipped for free? Sanitation is often a concern after natural disasters and for those with little cash on hand, this could be an easy way to make a difference.

  • Erica says:

    I would love to donate some clothes- mens, maternity and childrens- to the victims. Are there contacts/ addresses for some of the smaller communities that I can send these to?

  • Cassandra says:

    In Jefferson City, MO they are taking donations out at the Fair Grounds today and tomorrow. The kids and I sorted through our stockpile of shampoo, toothpaste and such, and came up with five overflowing bags to take over there this morning. We can’t give any $ at this time, but I am sure we had over $100 worth of stuff that we had gotten free or nearly free. Thanks you Money Saving Mom for all the coupon matchups! Your deals have helped us to donate.

  • Eli says:

    Thanks so much for the address to ship items to. My daughter has been planning her 10th birthday party as a benefit party to collect items for the Alabama Tornado Relief efforts, now that this has happened she came to me last night and asked me if we could send to both locations. My company has offered to spend up to $150 in shipping costs to help us send the items we collect directly to those in need.

    I’m very proud of her efforts to help others – not many kids I know would be willing to give up their birthday presents in order to help others. I only started couponing in January and I know my stockpile will fill a couple boxes alone. Thank you for everything you do – before couponing I struggled to give back and was often just trying to make ends meet. Thanks to your site I am now able to reach out and help others!

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you for this post, and to those of you directly affected by the storms, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Being a mother, as many of you are as well, I think one thing that would mean the world to many children affected would possibly be toys and stuffed animals. I know if my daughter lost her “Dot” she would be crushed. While this may be small and pety to some, children don’t have the capacity to understand what they need so much as what they want and what may make them feel better. My daughter and I are going to collect all her toys that usually are donated and send them to Joplin.

    • Brittany says:

      Sarah, what a great idea! I hadn’t thought in that direction. After I told my 6 year old about this, I asked her what she would like if she were in this situation, and she replied “books and barbies.” So she is off to her room to round up some nice things for the little one’s, to add to our care package. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Kristin says:

    Crystal Im hoping that you guys aren’t still in OKC, we are under severe tornado watches (im a ways south in Ardmore). Worst I’ve ever seen, in all the years I’ve been here they’ve *never* made parents come get the kids from school because of possible storms.

  • Linda says:

    Just went through my house and gathered all of my freebies. What a great way to put them to use.

  • Linda says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice is the post offices offered a special rate for sending donations such as this

  • Dreya says:

    If you live in the Wichita/Newton, Kansas area, go to the Wichita Helping Joplin Facebook page. They are gathering supplies to take to Joplin by truck on Thursday (thanks to Penske for donating the use of the truck!). Check out the info tab and it will tell you drop off locations. 🙂

    • Erin says:

      I am also near Wichita (Mulvane) and will be driving down supplies to a friend’s church. If you miss the May 27th deadline for the drop offs that Dreya listed, I can add your stuff to mine to take (probably mid next week).

      erin_manning_ @ hotmail.com

  • Sarah B says:

    We were updating our 72 hour kits today and I realized my boys (age 2 and six months) would be in bad shape if I didn’t put in an extra tube of DIAPER CREAM (or butt cream as we like to call it in our family). I know diapers and wipes are essential, but I’m sure things like Desitin are needed too!

    • Robin M says:

      What are “72 Hour” kits? Curious!

      • Sarah B says:

        72 Hour Kits are kits with things like water, extra clothes, diapers, food, axe, bucket, first aid kit, toilet paper, whistle, etc., that last a person 3 days (72 hours). The idea is that in an emergency a person could grab there kit (typically in a duffel bag or backpack) and be ready for just about anything: no clean water, no electricity, evacuations, etc., and be able to thrive for three days or until help arrived.

        Since I have two little ones we store all of our stuff (minus the water) in two large duffel bags.

        I really feel like 72 hour kits bring a huge peace of mind. Just last Saturday we had to take shelter for an hour in our basement because of tornado threats. We ate canned peaches for dinner and my two year old was thrilled with the “new” toys we had stored in our kits. Thankfully the tornadoes skirted our neighborhood, but it was a comfort to know that if something did happen we had we had a better chance of survival because our kits were next to us.

        Here are two links that talk more about 72 hour kits:
        http://lds.about.com/od/preparednessfoodstorage/a/72hour_kit.htm
        http://safelygatheredin.blogspot.com/2009/11/72-hour-kits.html

        Hope this all made sense!

      • Kimberly says:

        They are essentially emergency kits that will keep you alive for 72 hours. They contain things like bottled water, food that doesn’t need to be cooked, flashlights, etc. They are great to have on hand, just in case. You can stick it in an old backpack so you can grab it and go in case of an emergency.

  • Renee says:

    I too felt great compassion for the tornado victoms. It lead me to call our nation to prayer. Please join in my prayer for God’s Kingdom to reign in our nation once again.

    A call to prayer: http://renee-joyjourney.blogspot.com/2011/05/perfect-storm-is-brewing-call-to-action.html

    Blessings, Renee

  • jennifer says:

    Has anyone confirmed that the USPS is actually moving mail through any of those locations? I’d hate to see people send items that just get stuck somewhere.

  • Sarah L. says:

    Anyone know collection sites in Illinois by any chance? Or would I just have to mail it myself?

  • Sarah says:

    Safe travels as the weather is not looking good on that side of the country for today, as we are glued to the tv here in NC watching a system our way. We will continue to pray for the families affected and for everyones safety this incredible tornado season!

  • Kamila says:

    Hi. I just checked the FB postings of The Bridge ministry and they are not accepting clothing items any more at this time.

    The Bridge ‎***We are no longer accepting clothing at The Bridge (other than baby sizes and undergarments of all kinds).
    about an hour ago @ 1612 Mountain Time on 24May2011

  • What a fantastic idea! I posted a blog with a link here. So many people want to help, but don’t have the cash. You always have been one of my fav bloggers, and this is just another reason why!

  • Nina Stokes says:

    We recently learned that it’s best to select non-perishable food in cans that have the pull-tab top. Many of those hurt by the storms do not have electricity or can openers.

  • Eulaha says:

    Do you know if they will accept donations of unopened OTC medications?

  • Sarah in MO says:

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU to every one of you from all of us here in Joplin!!! We greatly appreciate all your help and prayers!!! Together with the Lord’s help and the help of so many others we will get through this!

    God bless you all!

  • celia says:

    Swagbucks is allowing you to donate and they will turn your swagbuck into a real dollar.

    • maggie says:

      Actually if they get 68,000 Swagbucks donated it will be US$500 donated. It’s a sliding scale the more Swagbucks that get donated…between 100-136 Swagbucks = $1…..less than the value if you got the Amazon giftcards. (Get the Amazon gift cards and use your free shipping w/ Amazon mom to ship diapers instead!)

  • LaKeshia says:

    What about coupons?I save alot of them up and sometimes they expire before I get to use them.

  • DIANE says:

    thank you to all of you I live about 45min away from Joplin so THANK YOU SO MUCH

  • Lynn says:

    One thing you might want to also consider donating is manual can openers. Most people have electric ones and with the power out they have no way to open canned foods. That is one thing they were really needing in Alabama last month with those tornados.

  • Jessica says:

    I must say, while I am glad that you posted relief information for Joplin, I was disappointed that relief for the Alabama tornado victims was never mentioned last month. The devastation here in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa was the worst we’ve seen in over 30 years.

    • Crystal says:

      I really wanted to post a similar post for Alabama and spent a lot of time researching it out, but I wasn’t able to find a legitimate address for people to send their stockpile extras to in the beginning days (I don’t feel comfortable posting an address unless I’m 100% sure it’s legit). And then when I finally found a friend I knew personally who was coordinating a relief effort, they were completely overwhelmed with donations and didn’t need anything more. From what I’ve heard, there are warehouses stuffed with donations that people sent that aren’t being used, unfortunately. 🙁

  • Gina says:

    Thank you for all your responses to this disaster. I, too, live close to Joplin and have many friends whose families have lost everything or whose family members are missing or did not survive.

    To those of you who live farther than an easy day’s drive, or who do not have local organizations and churches organizing distribution trips: donating money is the single best thing you can do. Many groups, such as Convoy of Hope and the American Red Cross, can stretch $1 into $7 through their channels, so that is very efficient. Plus, as far as clothing goes (except, as mentioned, underwear and flip-flops), there is no good warehouse now for those items. Hang on to them as they’ll be needed in the future weeks/months.

    One thing I thought that would be needed, and hasn’t been on any list that I’ve seen, is sanitary pads, tampons, and incontinence items. Face it, we’d be lost without them, and a nursing home was hit. These are all things we have coupons for…

    And without scrolling back up to see who posted this, let’s not forget our more immediate neighbors who need help. Yes, other areas experience tragedy and natural disasters. There are so many ways we can bless others besides this one–albeit massive and unprecedented–event.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your care, concern, prayers and assistance. I thank you on behalf of those I don’t know who are desperate for the physical representation of your love at this time.

  • annette says:

    May I suggest you bring your “supplies” to a local humanitarian aid organization. For instance in Cincinnati you could drop off goods to Matthew 25 Ministries (m25m.org) and they will ship the supplies. I’m sure other cities have similar organizations.

  • Christy says:

    thanks so much for posting this! My 2 boys are getting a box ready right now (from my stockpile!) What a wonderful way for me to teach my children about giving. I also contacted my local red cross, and made an appt. to donate blood.

  • Judi from Wisconsin says:

    Is anyone driving anything down to Joplin from Illinois? I am in Wisconsin and would be willing to drive down and meet someone going the rest of the way, and transfer my local coupon club’s goods into your truck or van if you would have room. Please feel free to contact me at jpool@wi.rr.com.

  • Stacia says:

    Thank you so much for providing us a way to help – I have a box of supplies ready go and I feel confident that my supplies will get to where they need to help somone.
    So great that our community of couponers can get together and donate!

  • Kim says:

    We ( http://www.LearnToUseCoupons.com ) are in Jonesboro AR and have partnered with J&C Express Moving and Home Delivery to collect donations to fill a 26 ft enclosed trailor and we will be delivering the supplies to Joplin. Thank you for this information.

    -Kim

  • socalgal says:

    Crystal, what a fantastic use of your blog and the power of the e-media! Good job! God bless!

  • Alicia says:

    PLEASE READ!!!!!!!

    The post office was hit by the tornado and has suspended operations. They are doing what they can with what they’ve got and bombarding them with packages is not going to help. They also serve as a distribution center for much SWMO mail, and have been focusing on that. We have drop off centers set up everywhere, but even mailing it to me could cause undue stress on the PO and I’m an hour away.

    Sending coupons probably won’t help much as there is only one coupon friendly grocery and they were in the path- not sure if hit, but even if not, I’m sure there isn’t enough stock to coupon. Walgreens and Walmart were destroyed. The next closest ‘town’ with a store Is miles away and those in need lost vehicles, too.

  • charity crawford says:

    Sure Hope you made it home or you were at least safe last night in oklahoma city they had it bad last night…I live outside of tulsa and we went and took shelter at our church in case a tornado came…It was a scary close call half the evening.

  • Hope Easter says:

    Crystal thank you so much for posting this! I’ll do a post on this and link it back to your blog, because people need to get the word out about this! This can help so much!
    I’m getting my list ready, and buying things this week for Joplin!
    My heart and prayers go out to all the victims affected by this terrible storm.

    May God Bless!

  • Melissa says:

    Thanks for posting this. I don’t have lots of extra $ right now, but I put some stockpile items to ship. It’s nice to be able to give back!

  • 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.
    Thanks

  • 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: https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/lv?hl=en_US&key=t7FpXE61_2vBAn9fQ_QkQKA&f=true&gid=0

    How to Donate: http://prayforjoplin.myshopify.com/pages/how-to-donate

    “How You Can Help”: http://www.ky3.com/news/ky3-convoy-of-hope-collecting-donations-for-tornado-victims-20110523,0,7283502.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” (http://www.iheartthemart.com/) is going to be delivering items to Joplin personally, with his church:

    http://www.iheartthemart.com/2011/05/25/joplin-relief-supplies-donation-location/#comment-12642

    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: http://www.redcross-ozarks.org/donate/ ) 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:

    Clothes
    Diapers
    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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