MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

May 22, 2013

Area folks lend a hand in tornado aftermath

Local citizens, schools and businesses have banded together to lend a helping hand to the tornado ravaged Moore area.

The local relief effort, like many around the state and nation, is focusing not just on the displaced or injured, but also the first responders and the relief effort.

“Work gloves, rakes, shovels, trash bags — it’s all needed,” said KTFX Okie Country 101.7 general manager Aleese Fielder.

Okie Country is partnering with Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service to collect relief items Saturday during Safety Day at the Muskogee Civic Center.

“This initial collection is more for the first responders,” Fielder said. “I would imagine at a later date, like next week or beyond, the shift will be toward families who have lost items.”

The Okie Country studio inside Arrowhead Mall has become a bit of a hub for those seeking to donate to the relief effort.

Specifically needed items are:

• Work gloves.

• Heavy-duty trash bags.

• Batteries.

• Flashlights.

• Sunscreen.

• Rakes, shovels and brooms.

• Adhesive bandages.

• Bottled water.

• Trail mix and protein bars.

• Non-perishable food items such as protein bars or trail mix.

• Hand sanitizer.

• Diapers, baby wipes, baby formula.

• Toiletries.

Mechele Cruz, community relations coordinator at Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service, said the plan was to add a drive-through donation area to the event to expedite collection.

“The plan is to have it so people can just easily drive through and drop off the items, to make it simple and easy,” Cruz said. The event, part of “National EMS Week,” is from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Cruz said no clothing items will be accepted. Direct Traffic Control would be coordinating the delivery of the collected items, she said.

While the cleanup effort is ongoing, the Oklahoma Red Cross and Oklahoma Salvation Army recommend financial donations in lieu of clothing or blankets. To donate to the Red Cross, visit www.red cross.org or call 1-800 REDCROSS. You can also donate $10 by texting TORNADO to 32333.  

You can text STORM to 80888 to donate $10 to the Salvation Army.

Melony Carey, Muskogee Public Schools spokeswoman, said the school’s FFA group is one of several area schools accepting items for first responders and storm victims.

Interested contributors can bring items to the Muskogee High School Agriculture room (G 102) Thursday and Friday. Most area schools are accepting donations in some way, and administrators recommend people contact each school individually to see what they’re accepting.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.

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