Special Reports

May 9, 2007

United Way to coordinate aid fund

The United Way of the Plains will act as a central collection point for money directed to long-term help for tornado victims, the organization announced Tuesday.

The United Way of the Plains will act as a central collection point for money directed to long-term help for tornado victims, the organization announced Tuesday.

A United Way spokesman said Gov. Kathleen Sebelius had asked United Way to coordinate the effort.

While the Salvation Army and Red Cross are tending to the immediate needs of victims with food and shelter, money collected in the Green for Greensburg Fund will pay for the next steps in rebuilding people's lives such as counseling, medical services and vouchers for rent or utilities, said Delane Butler of the United Way of the Plains in Wichita.

"It's a new name for the same fund" that the United Way had already started, Butler said.

"A lot of it just has to do with coordination, because this has become a Kansas event. The governor wants to encourage support statewide and wanted to use the United Way because she knew we'd be doing this broader scope."

He said that donations to this fund should not take the place of those to the Salvation Army or the Red Cross, which the United Way supports year-round for their emergency services.

"It's not an 'or,' but an 'and.' We're encouraging people who want to be generous and want to continue to give.

"The benefit of this is that there are a lot of services that will be provided here in the short term and long term that the general public is not going to be aware of. This allows people to support those in a way they can trust because they know United Way has been around a long time and we're used to working with community groups."

The United Way is still working on a plan for volunteers from the public to help with the cleanup and rebuilding in Greensburg. He said it's still too early for the damaged area to accept that help, beyond the official volunteers already mobilized.


United Way

Make checks payable to Green for Greensburg Fund and mail to United Way of the Plains, 245 N. Water, Wichita, KS 67202.

Pizza Hut

On Thursday, Pizza Hut restaurants in central and western Kansas, including in Wichita and Topeka, will donate a portion of all sales to the United Way Greensburg fund. A Pizza Hut was one of the businesses lost in the Greensburg tornado.

South Central Community Foundation

The South Central Community Foundation has established the Greensburg Future Fund to raise money for the rebuilding of the community. The idea for the fund in part came from two Pratt children, Hazen and Sevren Hance, who wanted to donate money for the purchase of playground equipment for Greensburg students, said Porter Loomis, president of the Peoples Bank in Pratt. Donations to the fund can be made by mail to Greensburg Future Fund, South Central Community Foundation, P.O. Box 8624, Pratt, KS 67124. For more information, call foundation executive director Denise Unruh at 620-672-7929.

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 John's Pizza locations:

8918 W. 21st St.

2530 S. Seneca

220 W. Douglas

5231 E. Central

7777 E. 21st St.

8620 W. McCormick

7800 E. Harry

2111 W. 21st St.

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), online at www.armykettle.com or mailed to 3637 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111.

Red Cross

Make donations three ways:

 Call 800-RED-CROS (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.

Catholic Charities

Make checks payable to Catholic Social Service and specify it for tornadoes. Mail to Catholic Social Service, 906 Central Ave., 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 Disaster 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 (552-7972)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. S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49560.

KSN Telethon

KSN will team up with Dillons grocery stores to broadcast a telethon on Channel 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday. The telethon will include a phone bank that will take pledges of money for the victims. Dillons stores also are accepting donations at their registers.


Kansas Humane Society

The Kansas Humane Society is accepting donations of pet supplies for Greensburg. Donations will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today. 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.

Via Christi Home Care

Via Christi Home Care has started a collection drive to help tornado victims, including people who are its patients. The unit of Via Christi Wichita Health Network said it and its staff have donated and purchased personal care items for Greensburg residents and are opening the drive to all of the network's employees, including those at the St. Francis, St. Joseph, Good Shepherd and Our Lady of Lourdes campuses. Via Christi Home Care said it had about 40 home-care patients in Greensburg. On Saturday morning, its staff in Hays and Dodge City worked to locate its Greensburg patients and provide them home medical equipment and oxygen. It also provided medical relief supplies to Haviland Clinic.

Goodwill Industries

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.


Bank of the West

Bank of the West has given $50,000 to the American Red Cross Cannonball Trail chapter to provide housing and food assistance to Greensburg residents. The San Francisco-based bank that operates 29 branches in the state is also working with customers affected by the tornado to provide loan-payment deferrals.

Coleman Co.

The Coleman Co. is sending a semi-trailer filled with gear, including lanterns and fuel, shelters, airbeds, coolers, sleeping bag and battery-powered lights to Greensburg today out of Wichita.

Koch Industries

Koch Nitrogen Co. in Dodge City is donating $25,000 to tornado relief.

Goodwill Industries

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.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army arrived in Greensburg within a few hours of the tornado and provided meals to law enforcement, search and rescue crews and displaced residents. Salvation Army social service personnel have been working with residents, assisting them with immediate needs including shelter, food and clothing. Since Sunday, the organization has provided more than $50,000 in direct financial aid to those in need, said spokesman Amanda Waters in Kansas City, Mo. Meanwhile, dozens of Salvation Army emergency disaster services teams are assisting other communities in Kansas and Missouri that have been flooded, providing meals and shelter for evacuated residents and emergency responders, Waters said.

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