, Muskogee, OK

May 22, 2013

Area folks lend a hand in tornado aftermath

By Dylan Goforth
Phoenix Staff Writer

— 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 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

If you go

WHAT: Safety Day, part of National EMS Week.

WHERE: Muskogee Civic Center, 425 Boston St.

WHEN: 8 a.m. Saturday.

ETC.: The event will be held in cooperation with Muskogee County Health Department and Muskogee Farmers’ Market to provide information regarding public safety and awareness. There will also be a bicycle rodeo, and the first 50 children to participate in the bicycle rodeo will receive a free bicycle safety helmet.

INFORMATION: Mechele Cruz, Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service, (918) 683-0130.

You can help

Citizens seeking to contribute to the Moore tornado relief efforts have a variety of options available.

To donate money:

• Visit or call 1-800 REDCROSS. You can also donate $10 by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

• Text STORM to 80888 to donate $10 to the Salvation Army.

• Text RESPONSE to 80888 or call (800) 554-8583 to make a $10 donation through the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

• All Homeland grocery stores are accepting donations for the American Red Cross Tornado Relief Fund. Financial contributions can be made at the register in increments of $1, $5 or $10 and if customers are purchasing items to donate, all stores will have bins set up to collect the items at the front of the store. The items will be distributed to rescue workers, volunteers and victims, and 100 percent of all financial contributions will go directly to the tornado relief efforts.

To donate items:

• Okie Country 101.7 studios at Arrowhead Mall is accepting items today through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Muskogee County Emergency Medical Service Safety Day at the Muskogee Civic Center on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon will have a drive-through donation dropoff.

• Chili’s Grill and Bar in Muskogee and Tahlequah are accepting donations that will be delivered to Moore on Thursday. Also, 10 percent of all sales Wednesday will assist the relief efforts.

• Shipman Funeral Home in Muskogee (1325 N. York St.) and Wagoner (2809 U.S. 69) are accepting toiletries, bottled water, and dog food from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

• First Baptist Church, Wagoner, 401 N.E. Second St., is accepting work gloves, bottled water and baby items today, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Walker Family Dentistry, 106 Lone Oak Circle, Fort Gibson, is accepting baby items and bottled water from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to noon Friday.

• 102.5 KFOX in Eufaula is accepting donations today at the U.S. Cellular store at 133 S. Main St.

• New Hope Assembly of God, 110 W. 58th St. S., is accepting water, tarps, batteries, diapers, non-perishable foods and toiletries from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. today and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Information: Pastor John Overton, (918) 616-3078.