I wanted to do something with my family this weekend, to help those affected by last weekend’s tornadoes. I found out quickly that it’s a little easier said than done, though. There are several links to organizations that are accepting donations, but many places are turning people away because they’ve run out of space. There are volunteers who are willing to adopt displaced families, but they’re still looking for families in need. Many are still too busy digging out their belongings to start taking the next steps. Some animal shelters, which have been so helpful in finding the families of lost pets, have run out of room for donations and are too busy to train new volunteers.
Despite this, there is still SO MUCH NEED!
School supplies in particular are in extremely high demand right now. The kids who lost their homes will be returning to class next week, but they’ve lost all their supplies. They will be collecting these items TODAY until 7pm: Crayons, Pencils, Pink Erasers, Markers, Glue Sticks, Glue, Scissors, Pencil Boxes, Folders, Composition Books, Ruled Loose Leaf Paper, 1 Subject Notebooks, Blue and Red Pens, Pencil Sharpeners, Geometry Sets, Pocket Dictionaries, Highlighters, 1” Binders, Scientific Calculators, & Backpacks. You can take those to the Distribution Center at the Garland Rec Center Annex (1310 W. Avenue F, Garland TX).
I made a few calls and found out that the Garland Animal Shelter was overloaded with donations and ran out of space for them. They still need everything except dog towels, of which they have plenty. They were turning people away but they ARE TAKING DONATIONS TODAY because they’ll have a storage facility to put them in AND people to transport it all. Please bring your donations HERE.
One volunteer from rowlett.recovers.org told me that there’s still a huge need for clean-up supplies, specifically trash bags, work gloves and face-masks. Storage bins are especially handy right now. She told me to take them to Bowl-A-Rama in Rowlett, which was still taking donations when we went Saturday (12/31). They were even giving out free bowling passes to those who left donated goods.
Don’t forget that many people were affected in outlying areas, as well. There’s a Facebook page in place for Lavon and Farmersville, with several links to help them out. You can find that by clicking HERE, and a Facebook page for the tornado victims in Blue Ridge by clicking HERE.
If you try to donate at any of these places and are turned away, my apologies but the situation changes throughout the day. Your best bet is to check the https://rowlett.recovers.org website before you leave to find out where the specific needs are. Please leave any other useful information you find along the way in the “Comments” section. I’d really love to find more direct ways to help those in outlying areas.
THANK YOU & HERE’S TO A SAFE & HAPPY 2016!