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Midwest Tornado Outbreak: Here's How You Can Help

By Sean Breslin
Published: November 19, 2013

Tornadoes ravaged small towns all over the Midwest on Sunday, killing several people and wounding far more. Neighborhoods were demolished and as the recovery ends, rebuilding dreams and lives will begin.

These people will need help for months or years as they try to get back on their feet from this devastating event, and if you are able, there's no shortage of ways to help.

(MORE: Communities Coming Together | This Reunion Will Bring Tears to Your Eyes)

Below are a few options for assisting tornado survivors from afar.

  • The American Red Cross is working to assist the communities ravaged by these storms, but they need donations to keep necessary supplies flowing to the residents of these towns. Twelve Red Cross shelters were opened in three states Sunday night, while meals, snacks and relief supplies will continue to be distributed as survivors rebuild their lives. To donate to the Red Cross, you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation, call 1-800-REDCROSS or visit www.redcross.org.
  • The Salvation Army has mobilized crews to assist towns damaged by tornadoes. Text STORM to 80888 for a $10 donation or donate via their website.
  • The Northern Illinois Food Bank is also accepting donations, as they are sending trucks of food, water and other supplies to broken towns. You can text FOOD to 52000 to make a $10 donation or visit their website.
  • If you live in the area and have found photos that you'd like to reunite with the owner, a Facebook page has been set up to do that.
  • Operation Blessing has pledged relief to the tornado-affected areas, so to help them make that a reality, donations can be made on their website.
  • If you know of any missing pets or are seeking to be reunited with one, a Facebook page has launched to help.

MORE: Tornadoes Leave Devastated Towns, Lives

A person sorts the damage of a home in the Washington Estates subdivision in the aftermath of a tornado on Nov. 18, 2013, in Washington, Ill. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)


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