This Mother's Day, families across the nation will be missing their mothers, children, wives and siblings as disaster relief workers remain in Greensburg and surrounding areas to help those affected by the May 4 disaster.
Red Cross mental health worker Dianne Held of Wichita will miss her mother in Tennessee.
"I was really looking forward to seeing my mom because we don't get together often," she said. "It's more important to be here because there are many, many mothers that need some extra support."
Held is working in a Red Cross shelter helping residents cope.
Martha Dittmar, a Red Cross disaster relief worker from Chicago, canceled a planned visit with her mother in Michigan this weekend.
"I hope I am making my mother proud by serving others," Dittmar said.
Two Red Cross shelters, one west of Greensburg in Mullinville and the other to the east in Haviland, are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for storm victims needing financial assistance. Bring identification such as a driver's license or utility bill.
In addition to the shelters, the American Red Cross service center is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Today, flowers will be distributed in honor of Mother's Day.
To date, the Red Cross has provided 1,000 overnight stays, served 23,000 meals and 35,000 snacks and distributed more than 6,000 items to residents of Kiowa and Stafford counties. Some of these items include gloves, trash bags, paper towels, cleanup kits and sunscreen.
TO GET HELP
Disabled American Veterans is providing transportation to and from the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Wichita for people displaced by the tornadoes who need prescription refills or medical care.
Up to $1,000 in disaster recovery relief for disabled veterans is available. Call 316-688-6722 for more information.
Call the United Way at 211 to request help removing debris. Individuals wishing to volunteer should also dial 211 while in Kansas or 888-413-4327 outside Kansas. AmeriCorps will organize groups wishing to volunteer. Group leaders should call 314-313-4779.
Residents with spoiled food are asked to put the food in trash bags along the curb. Any food items could pose a health hazard if not disposed of in this manner. Trash bags, work gloves, tarps, empty cardboard boxes and plastic storage tubs are available in the parking lot of Brown's Auction Service, south of the city park on U.S. 54.
If severe weather moves into the Greensburg area, it will be evacuated. The National Weather Service has assigned a meteorologist to Greensburg to provide early warnings. The west warning siren is back in service and will sound if hazardous weather approaches.
Lost and found items can be turned in or picked up at the temporary City Hall, southeast of the Kiowa County Courthouse. If you find an item that may be dangerous, leave it where it is and notify the nearest law enforcement officer.
Anyone with medical waste or syringes should contact the health department for proper disposal.
A Disaster Assistance Center has been established at Barclay College in Haviland. Visit the center for these services: assistance from the Kansas Department of Revenue, SRS, Veterans Administration, Small Business Administration, FEMA and Red Cross Client Services. If you need Red Cross assistance and are unable to go to the assistance center, call 866-GET-INFO.
All Greensburg mail is being forwarded to the Pratt post office. Residents and businesses in Greensburg may register for a free post office box at the Pratt post office.
The Mullinville and Haviland United Methodist churches have clothing and other personal items available between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day.
Free phones have been set up on the west side of the courthouse for residents and responders to use.
The Greensburg City Council will hold its first meeting at 5 p.m. Monday , at the temporary City Hall, located near the Kiowa County Courthouse.
Damaged or destroyed vehicles left on city streets are being tagged. Vehicles remaining 48 hours after being tagged will be taken away by crews to the south landfill.
Out of respect for Greensburg residents, crews will not begin work on Sunday until 1 p.m.
Information is available on 1610-AM, the Greensburg public information channel.
People unaffiliated with any organization who want to volunteer their time and/or equipment should call the United Way at 211 in Kansas or 888-413-4327 outside Kansas.
HOW TO DONATE
Alefs Harley-Davidson has joined with The Wichita Eagle, KEYN and KAKE to raise money for Greensburg. You can buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win a new Harley-Davidson V-Rod motorcycle. Tickets are $20 each or six tickets for $100. All proceeds will go to the city of Greensburg. Watch for entry forms in The Eagle or visit Alefs Harley-Davidson at I-135 & 53rd North to buy raffle tickets. The drawing will take place at Alefs at 5 p.m. June 9, during the Bikers, Blues and BBQ event. You need not be present to win.
Applebee's of Great Bend will host a flapjack fundraiser from 7 to 10 a.m. May 19 to benefit the Red Cross Greensburg Disaster Relief Fund. A breakfast of pancakes, hash browns, sausage and beverages can be had for a $5 donation. A local cheer team, band members and a clown will entertain patrons.
HOW TO DONATE MONEY
American Red Cross. Send donations to Red Cross Midway-Kansas Chapter, P.O. Box 3726, Wichita, KS 67201. Specify check for: Kansas Tornadoes. Information, 800-733-2767, online at www.redcross.org.
Salvation Army. Send donations to 3637 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111. Make check out to: Salvation Army. Information, 800-725-2769, online at www.armykettle.org.
Greensburg Rebuilding Fund. Send donations in care of Greensburg State Bank, Greensburg, KS 67054, 620-723-2131
Big Well Rebuilding Fund. Send donations to City of Greensburg, 239 S. Main, Greensburg, KS 67054
United Way's Green for Greensburg Fund. Send donations to United Way of the Plains, 245 N. Water, Wichita, KS 67202. Make checks to: Green for Greensburg Fund. Or go to www.unitedwayplains.org/disasters/greensburgtornado.htm
Catholic Charities, specify donations for: Tornadoes. Call 800-919-9338 or mail to Catholic Social Service, 906 Central Avenue, Dodge City, KS 67801. Or go to www.catholiccharitiesusa.org
Convoy of Hope. Send donations to Convoy of Hope, 330 S. Patterson, Springfield, MO 65802. Make check to Convoy of Hope, and write Kansas Disaster on memo line. Information, 800-988-0664.
Church World Service. Send to Church World Service, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 606, New York, NY 10115-0050. Make check to: Church World Service and write Appeal 6294 on memo line. Information, 800-297-1516, ext. 222.
United Methodist Kansas Area Disaster Fund. Mail donations to Kansas West Conference, 9440 E. Boston St., Suite 110, Wichita, KS 66207. Make checks to: Kansas West Conference, write Area Disaster Fund on memo line. Or go to www.kswestumc.org
Mennonite Disaster Service. Mail donations to MDS Binational Office, 1018 Main St., Akron, PA 17501. Make checks to: Mennonite Disaster Service. Or go to www.mds.mennonite.net
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. Mail donations to CRWRC, 2850 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49560. Make checks to CRWRC. Write Spring Storms 2007 on memo line. Call 800-552-7972 or go to www.crwrc.org.
Kansas/Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists. Mail to: KNCSB Disaster Relief, 5410 SW 7th St., Topeka, KS 66606. Make check to KNCSB, and write Disaster Relief on memo line. Information, 785-228-6800.
Pratt County Humane Society. mail to: 1402 W. First St., Pratt, KS 67214. Information, 620-672-6777.
HOW TO DONATE ITEMS
Kansas Food Bank, 1919 E. Douglas. Items needed include gallon-sized cans of food, snack foods, rakes, shovels, tarps, work gloves, sunscreen. The Food Bank will sort donations and deliver them to distribution centers. For more information, call 316-265-3663.
Goodwill Industries. Donations of clothing and household items can be taken to your nearest Goodwill store.
Wal-Mart in Pratt has donated $20,000 to the Salvation Army.
Land O' Lakes, based in Minnesota, is matching employee donations to the Salvation Army.
Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) and Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteer ham radio operators are providing assistance with communication.
Eureka High School seniors have pledged to give the remainder of their class treasury to Greensburg High School graduating seniors in the form of a gift card to each student. Jayme and Sheila Koup, owners of Koup Family Funeral Home, Eureka, will match those gifts.
CNH and its Case and New Holland construction equipment brands have offered to make equipment available to the Kansas National Guard to help with cleanup efforts.
The company will supply a number of skid steer loaders and pallet forks from its Wichita plant and heavy duty wheel loaders from its Fargo, N.D., plant.
Dayu Zhao, the president of China's Shenyang Normal University, presented$1,000 to help survivors of the Greensburg tornado rebuild their town during a ceremony Friday in Hays. He learned about the disaster after arriving to speak at commencement Saturday at Fort Hays State University, which has a partnership degree program with the Chinese university.
As of Saturday, the Lions Club International Foundation and many Lions Clubs throughout the U.S. have given out nearly $30,000 in money vouchers to the people of Greensburg for food, clothing, medical supplies and household items, and have distributed $50 per person emergency needs vouchers.
The Lions also have fed over 500 victims and volunteers for each meal during the last week. To donate or volunteer, call the Kansas Lions state office, 316-773-2100, or e-mail KansasLions@aol.com.