Updated: 4/29/14 at 3 p.m.
My emotions are overwhelming right now and I’m at a loss for words to what happened to my community last night. A large, powerful tornado ripped through Mayflower, Arkansas, just 15 minutes south of where I live, and Vilonia, Arkansas, just 20 minutes to the east. Its likely that if this storm had been on a track just slightly farther north, I’d be a victim.
Many of you, readers, are from outside of Arkansas or even outside of the country. I’m asking all of you, no matter where you are from, to take a moment and think about what you can do to help my friends, neighbors, and community. We need you. Most of all, groups like the Red Cross need your money.
Our community needs money more than anything. Why? Read this article and it explains it! Donate to your favorite emergency group instead of sending stuff! I love the Red Cross and they are going a fantastic job here.
Money Donations for Mayflower and Vilonia Tornado
If you’re from outside of Arkansas or far away in Arkansas, the best thing you can do is donate money. Money helps responders get the supplies they need without added shipping costs or paying for things to get here that aren’t really needed. Please, if you’re from somewhere else, donate money, not things.
- Red Cross - You can go here and do a “quick donation” for a general disaster relief fund. I expect they will set up a specific cause you can donate to later and will update this information as I get it. Even if you’re not here, they always need blood. You can also donate $10 by texting the word “REDCROSS” to 90999.
- The Salvation Army - Fill out this donation form to specifically donate to the Arkansas tornado relief. You can also mail checks to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, PO Box 738, North Little Rock, AR 72115-0738 and write Arkansas Tornado Relief on the check memo line. To donate $10 to the general disaster relief fund, text “STORM” to 80888. You can also call 1-800-725-2769.
- United Methodists of Arkansas - They have a fund set up too. Donate here.
- Mosaic Church - A few families at this church were affected and are accepting donations.
- Arkansas Rice Depot - Text “FEED” to 74700 to make an immediate $5 or $10 donation. You can also go to www.ricedepot.org and click “GIVE TODAY.”
- United Way - Our local Conway office is taking donations on their website. Scroll down past the list of local needs to the button!
- Faulkner County SPCA- They’re accepting online donations via Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations go to buy supplies to house and treat animals.
- Check out this list of local businesses that are benefiting funds that you can purchase from.
Local Donations for Mayflower and Vilonia Tornado
If you are in Arkansas, the Arkansas Emergency Management and Red Cross are both requesting donations of money—not things. They can get what they need better with donations to emergency funds than donations.
The only groups that are accepting donations at this time are as follows:
- Faulkner Co Extension Office- Collecting trash bags, sanitizers, toiletries, etc., for storm victims. 110 S. Amity Road, Conway. Call first to make sure they are still in need! 501-329-8344. No clothes or water!
- Arkansas Rice Depot - They are making Disaster Meal Kits. Click here to view what is needed. This is a need that will go on for months, according to the Arkansas Rice Depot, so if you MUST donate things, this is your best bet.
Volunteering in Mayflower and Vilonia for Cleanup
I’m urging those from far away not to come to clean up. Local efforts are well organized and taking care of cleanup!
- Volunteer in Mayflower - Report to the Mayflower Middle School to get an assignment. (Thanks, Lisa for this update!)
- New Life Church – Check daily with their Facebook page: New Life Church. They also have a tornado relief fund setup at the Arkansas Dream Center Page. Sign up for volunteering here.
The above photo is a screenshot from an aerial video by Brian Emfinger.