The red kettles of Christmastime are making a rare May appearance in Wichita to collect money for the victims of last weekend's tornadoes.
The kettles are one of many ways that people, businesses and organizations are reaching out to help those who lost everything.
"People's first reaction is: 'What can I do?' " said Amanda Waters of the Salvation Army in Wichita.
While some people stand ready to head to Greensburg and others may want to organize food or bottled-water drives, money remains the best way to help right now, charities say. Until organizational plans are in place to handle them, any other efforts can be chaotic.
More than 200 volunteers from the Red Cross and from other organizations are helping tornado victims in and around Greensburg, but more volunteers will be needed in the future for rebuilding, said Andrea Anglin of the Midway-Kansas Chapter of the Red Cross.
"They've just started letting people in today to see what they can salvage," Anglin said Monday. "They haven't started cleanup yet, and that's usually when people come down to help."
The United Way of the Plains is working on a plan to organize people who want to volunteer, said spokesman Delane Butler.
"They're anticipating there's going to be a lot of people who are going to want to help out there," Butler said.
In the meantime, here are ways that you can help.
HOW TO DONATE MONEY
Salvation Army red kettles
You can drop cash or checks made out to "Salvation Army" at several places:
KAKE TV, 1500 N. West St.
Clear Channel Radio, 9323 E. 37th St. North
Papa Johns Pizza locations:
8918 W. 21st St. North
2530 S. Seneca
220 W. Douglas
5231 E. Central
7777 E. 21st St. North
8620 W. McCormick
7800 E. Harry
2111 W. 21st St. North
5000 S. Broadway
420 S. Andover Road, Andover
625 N. Rock Road, Derby
1700 N. Main, Newton
501 E. 17th St., Hutchinson
Galichia Heart Hospital, 2610 N. Woodlawn
Donations can also be made by phone to 800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769) and online at www.salvationarmyusa.org.
Make donations three ways:
Call 800-RED-CROSS (733-2767)
Mail check to your local chapter, specifying it for Kansas tornadoes (in Wichita, that is the Midway-Kansas Chapter, P.O. Box 3726, Wichita, KS 67201).
Go online to www.redcross.org.
Make checks payable to United Way Greensburg Disaster Fund and mail to United Way of the Plains, 245 N. Water, Wichita, KS 67202.
Make check payable to Catholic Social Service and specify it for tornadoes. Mail to Catholic Social Service, 906 Central Avenue, Dodge City, KS 67801.
United Methodist Kansas Area Disaster Fund
Make checks payable to Kansas West Conference and write Area Disaster Fund on the memo line. Mail to Kansas West Conference, 9440 E. Boston St. Suite 110, Wichita, KS 66207.
Mennonite Relief Service
Donate online at www.mds.mennonite.net or mail check to MDS Binational Office, 1018 Main St., Akron, PA 17501.
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
Call 800-55-CRWRC or make donations online at www.crwrc.org. Checks should be made out to CRWRC, earmarked Spring Storms 2007, and sent to 2850 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49560.
KSN will team up with Dillons grocery stores to broadcast a live telethon on Channel 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday. The telethon will include a phone bank that will take pledges to raise money for the victims. Dillons stores also are accepting donations at their registers. Almost $30,000 had been raised in the two days after the tornadoes struck.
Kansas Humane Society
The Kansas Humane Society will serve as a drop-off site for pet relief supplies going to Greensburg. Donations will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and Wednesday. Northcutt Trucking will provide a semi to haul the items to Greensburg. Items needed include crates, dog and cat food, cat litter, towels, blankets and water. For more information, call Jennifer Campbell at 316-524-1590, ext. 212.
Koch will match each dollar donated by employees up to $25,000. The money will go to the Salvation Army.
Super Suppers at 21st and Webb Road in Wichita is donating 10 percent of all sales through Saturday to help the tornado victims. The money will be given to the Salvation Army red kettle campaign.
Park Hill Elementary
Students from Park Hill Elementary will compete to raise money to send to schools in Greensburg. Beginning Friday and going through May 17, each classroom pod will place money in a "well" (in homage to the historic well in Greensburg). The pod that raises the most money will get more recess time. Students also will write messages of encouragement to be sent to students in Greensburg.
HOW TO DONATE CLOTHING, HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
Goodwill Industries Easter Seals of Kansas is making clothing and vouchers for household items available to tornado victims. Vouchers are available through the Red Cross or at any Goodwill store in Hays, Hutchinson, Great Bend, Salina, Junction City, Arkansas City, Garden City, El Dorado, Wichita, Maize or Andover.
Donations for clothing and household items are being accepted at all Goodwill stores. Victims will have access to already sorted items in the Goodwill stores. As the new donations are sorted, they will be added to the store racks.