Alabama tornadoes: How to help the families of victims, those affected by devastating storm

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019
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Officials give updates about tornado recovery in Lee County, Alabama.

LEE COUNTY, Ala. -- A devastating tornado tore through eastern Alabama's Lee County on Sunday, claiming 23 lives and flattening homes.

Among the dead are four young children and 10 members of the same family.

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Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones says that everyone is now accounted for. Recovery efforts, though, are just getting started.

If you are interested in helping, here are some organizations that are coordinating relief efforts.

Community Foundation of East Alabama

The local organization is organizing an emergency fund, and 100% of the proceeds will go towards helping those affected by the storm, according to a press release.

The United Way

The United Way has set up a fund for which all proceeds go to help those affected by the tornadoes in Lee County.

"This is the first disaster of this kind and magnitude we've experienced," said Rebecca Benton, the executive director of United Way of Lee County.

Benton said that the organization is currently focused on coordinating volunteer efforts on the ground.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, which currently has the option to designate donations towards recovery after Sunday's tornadoes, is primarily concerned with providing food, as well as spiritual and emotional care, to those in the affected area. As of March 6, the organization said it had passed out more than 1,000 meals to those who were impacted by the storm.

"Today, The Salvation Army's mission is to provide relief to those who are suffering because of this horrific event in a manner which provides hope for the tomorrows," said Major Bradley Caldwell, who is the Salvation Army's Emotional & Spiritual Care Officer.

On its site, the organization explained that these donations may also go towards "cleaning supplies and other essential commodities, financial assistance to disaster survivors, long-term recovery assistance programs."

American Red Cross Disaster Relief

Donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund helps those affected by "disasters like storms and countless other crises," according to the organization. The organization outlines the disasters it has responded to in the past, along with the safety and recovery efforts brought about by this relief fund, on its donation page.

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