THORNTON, Colo. - Volunteers from ThornCreek church in Thornton are going to Oklahoma next week to help residents in the stricken city of Moore remove debris and get back on their feet.
The church members will be taking a truckload of furniture, water, diapers and cleanup tools with them, to give to Moore residents in need.
"We really want to bless them with some quality items," said Rubin Villareal, lead pastor at the church.
Villareal said that as soon as he saw video of the devastation, he and Executive Pastor Jason Staudinger sprang into action, planning a donation drive and asking for a truck to take to goods down south.
He said they didn’t wait for anyone to ask for help.
“All of us have been impacted by our own ‘personal tornadoes’ in life,” Villareal told 7NEWS. “And there’s a time in our life when we just need some hope. As humanity, we have the responsibility to be the love and grace of God. We have a responsibility to love on others.”
Disaster officials say it’s great that people want to help, but say they should make sure that the items they're collecting are actually needed.
“We don’t want to overwhelm them with our generosity,” Trost said. "We don't want disaster officials to spend scare money leasing storage space."
But Staudinger said the some furniture is needed now. He said some affected residents are moving into new apartments and rental homes now.
“They need furniture,” he said.
Villareal said ThornCreek's congregation has experience helping disaster vicitms.
"We're partnering with Trinity Nazarene Church in Oklahoma City and are coordinating relief efforts with them," he said. "We did the same thing in Joplin, Mo. following a devastating tornado two years ago."
Villareal said the church they partnered with in Joplin placed the donated furniture on pallets in a giant, circus-sized tent.
“People who could prove they lived in the affected area were allowed inside the tent,” Staudinger said. “It was kind of like a shopping mall for them. They would take a desk, a bed, a nightstand or anything they needed to furnish their new home.”
Trost said most charities are asking for monetary donations.
She said Coloradans who want to help with other donations can check the Web, to see what else is needed.
Trost said there are two websites that are coordinating efforts in Moore.
ThornCreek is partnering with American Furniture Warehouse to get the donated items collected in Colorado to the city of Moore.
Relief efforts will consist of debris removal, general clean up, delivery of meals and water, and any other ministerial needs of those who have been affected by this tragedy.
A relief team will be leaving Thornton Monday and will return Friday.
The following donations are welcome:
- CRISIS CARE KITS: These are simple items that are assembled into a zip lock bag. For information on what items to purchase and how to assemble the bags visit: http://ncmusacan.nazarene.org/NDR/Give/CrisisCareKits/tabid/675/Default.html
- WATER DRIVE: Immediately following a natural disaster, access to water can be severely limited. ThornCreek Church will take donations of water and/or Gatorade to assist those who have been affected.
- SUPPLIES: Various supplies are also needed including diaper, baby wipes, chain saws, tents, work gloves, safety goggles, etc. For a complete list visit: http://thorncreek.net/oklahoma
- MONETARY DONATIONS: Monetary donations to fund relief efforts will also be accepted. Make checks payable to ThornCreek Church (memo: Moore Tornado Relief). All funds will go directly toward Tornado relief.
- FURNITURE & APPLIANCE DONATIONS: American Furniture Warehouse has donated a truck to take donations of furniture and appliances.
Learn more on ThornCreek's website: http://thorncreek.net/
Here is a list of other ways you can help the tornado victims: http://ch7ne.ws/11YFvrQ