Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Funds and supplies pour in for storm victims

Funds and supplies pour in for storm victims

Supplies and donations continue to pour in for victims of the deadly tornado that destroyed parts of Tuscaloosa last Wednesday.

Organizations such as the Red Cross and United Way have seen a continuous flow of donations into relief funds since shortly after the disaster happened.

“We did a telethon on ABC 33/40 a few nights after the disaster and raised $500,000 in just three hours,” Red Cross spokesperson Suzanne Horsley said.

The money received by the Red Cross will be used to provide basic necessities to those affected by the storm.

“The Red Cross provides relief to those in immediate need,” she said.  “We provide food, a safe place to stay, clothing and other basic needs.”

Horsley said that the tornado victims shouldn’t have to worry about having their basic needs met.

“These people need to be able to get a hot meal, a cot, and a blanket at the end of every day,” she said. “We provide that for them.”

Although the Red Cross doesn’t actually cook the meals, it is instrumental in getting them to the affected areas.

“Many churches and restaurants have been cooking meals that we deliver to the hardest hit areas,” she said.

Thousands of people have been fed two hot meals a day by the Red Cross since the disaster.

“Yesterday, we fed 600 people for lunch and dinner in the shelter.  We also delivered 1,400 meals for lunch and dinner to affected areas.  That’s 2800 meals that we delivered into the community and 1,200 that we served in the shelter.  And that’s just yesterday!”

In addition to providing short-term needs, the Red Cross also provides medical attention and supplies for storm victims.

“The shelter is staffed with nurses and doctors that can provide immediate attention to storm victims,” Horsley said.  “Some people come in with needs such as oxygen, insulin, and medication.  We provide that for them”

Horsley said that the Red Cross will not be leaving any time soon.

“We are here for the duration,” she said.  “As long as people need shelter, we will be here.”

The United Way has also seen an influx of funds and supplies for storm victims.

“We have estimated that, on the website alone, over $10,000 in donations have come in so far,” said Homer Butler, president of West Alabama United Way.

Butler said that he had received a large number of phone calls from people who wanted to know how they could help.

“We are asking people to donate to the United Way of West Alabama Tornado Relief Fund,” he said.  “Donations to help the Tuscaloosa tornado victims can be sent to the United Way or can be made online at”

All money that is donated will go directly to helping those who lost everything in the storm.

“None of the money that is donated will go to support the daily operations of United Way,” Butler said.  “All of the money that comes in will be used for long-term recovery.”

Most of the money that is received by the United Way will be spent to help storm victims get back on their feet.

“Once search and rescue operations are over, the funds will be used to repair and rebuild homes, remove trees from yards, whatever is needed,” Butler said.

The Untied Way is currently in need of many items for storm victims.

“Yes, we will gladly take donations,” Butler said.  “Items can be dropped off at 2720 6th Street in Tuscaloosa.  Right now, the items we need the most are non-perishable food, baby food, baby wipes and men’s deodorant.”

On a smaller scale, many students from the University have decided to use their time, money, and even their homes to help with the relief efforts.

Amanda Phillips, a freshman majoring in general health studies, said that seeing the aftermath of the tornado motivated her to do something.

“I went out on Thursday to help with the cleanup and I saw such a need,” Phillips said.  “There wasn’t a lot that I could do because I don’t have any training and the search and rescue teams were still out there.”

It was on the trip home that she realized she had to do something to help with the recovery, she said.

“When I finally got home I was talking to my parents about how hard it was to leave…that’s when we came up with the idea of doing a donation drive here in Texas.”

Phillips decided to turn her family’s garage in her hometown of McKinny, Texas into a drop-off location for supplies.

“A donation drive is something I can do from home,” she said.  “Once we have collected the supplies, our plan it to head to Tuscaloosa and distribute the items we have gotten to those in need.”

Phillips hopes that her actions will inspire others to do the same.

“I am hoping that by ‘paying it forward’, meaning that one family takes care of another, others will be inspired to do the same and we can rebuild Tuscaloosa in no time.

The University has created the UA Acts of Kindness Fund to assist employees and students affected by the tornado.  More information can be found at


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