MOORE, Oklahoma - Tornadoes have devastated Oklahoma for two days in a row, leaving many asking, "How can I help?"
"What we and other disaster relief agencies will need most from the public is financial donations," said Rodney Bivens, executive director of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
Charity Navigators warns that before you give, consider the nature of the charity's work.
"Not every charity is responding in the same way to this disaster," CharityNavigator.org said. "Some are providing temporary shelter while others are providing food, water and medical assistance. Other charities are focused on long term rebuilding efforts. And some are simply fundraising on behalf of other charities. Think about what it is you want your donation to accomplish and then make sure you select the charity that is doing that type of work."
Here are some of the agencies helping the victims:
- The Red Cross said the best way to assist families is to make a donation to www.redcross.org/okc or www.redcross.org or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. They provide food, shelter, water and basic supplies to victims and first-responders at the scene of a disaster.
- The Salvation Army is asking for donations for Oklahoma Tornado Relief: https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/uss/eds/aok You can also text STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation. The money will go to providing meals, drinks and household cleanup kits for those affected.
- United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Disaster Relief Fund is open. Donations may be made online at www.unitedwayokc.org or by mail to United Way of Central Oklahoma, P.O. Box 837, Oklahoma City, OK 73101 with a notation for the May Tornado Relief. United Way said the funds will be distributed without administrative fees to United Way Partner Agencies working on the tornado relief efforts. The May Tornado Relief Fund will serve both immediate needs, intermediate, and long-term care.
- Feed the Children is an Oklahoma City-based charity that helps the needy in the United States and more than 15 other countries. They say your donations will help bring relief supplies to the tornado victims. Learn more: http://tinyurl.com/mezwwph
- Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City says its disaster relief team is in the impacted communities providing counseling, emergency assistance and case-management to those families who have been displaced by the tornadoes. Learn more: https://ccokc.ejoinme.org/?tabid=406485
- The Oklahoma Humane Society says it is currently working to assist the City of Moore to receive, assess and shelter animals affected by the tornado. They're asking for towels, paper towels, bleach, gloves, crates, pet food and financial donations. Learn more: http://www.okhumane.org/blog/how-you-can-help-moore-tornado-damage
- The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma says it is the largest private hunger-relief organization in the state of Oklahoma. Text FOOD to 32333 to donate $10 to the group.
"The Regional Food Bank is coordinating efforts with other disaster relief agencies in our state to provide food and water for those in need," said Bivens.
- Contributions to the Moore & Shawnee Tornado Relief Fund can be made online to the Tulsa Community Fund at www.TulsaCF.org. Donations can also be mailed to TCF offices at 7030 S. Yale, Suite 600, Tulsa, OK, 74136.