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Oklahoma City tornado: more ways to help

A massive tornado tore through parts of the Oklahoma City area May 19, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Here are some of the ways you can help.

Bill Waugh/Reuters
Leah Hill (lef), of Shawnee, Okla., is hugged by friend Sidney Sizemore as they look through Hill's scattered belongings from her home, which was destroyed by a tornado west of Shawnee May 19. A huge tornado struck near Oklahoma City May 19, part of a massive storm front that hammered the central United States.

UPDATE (5/21): Relief is now pouring in from all over the world and President Obama has ordered federal aid to assist in the recovery. If you are not in the Oklahoma City area, the best thing to do right now is to donate using one of the links below. If you are in the area, local organizations are accepting gloves, flashlights, boots, and other rescue materials. Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief has a list of locations accepting donations.


Thousands of people have been displaced by a massive tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, Monday. Relief organizations are scrambling to bring aid to the area. You can help right now by taking the following actions:

• Donate to the United Way of Central Oklahoma, which can be earmarked specifically for tornado relief.

Donate to the Red Cross, which has mobilized to help tornado victims throughout the Midwest. Text RED CROSS to 90999 to donate $10.

• Text GIVE OK to 80088 to donate $10 to the Tornado Relief Fund on GlobalGiving. You can also donate online.

• Current donations to the Salvation Army can be earmarked for tornado relief. If you'd rather write a check than donate online, specify "Oklahoma Tornado Relief" on the check.

• Donate to the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Disaster Relief Fund. All donations go to "providing tree removal services, laundry services, and meals to victims."

• If you're in the pathway, follow these tips on what to do during a tornado.

• Oklahoma's Department of Health and Human Services is available 24 hours a day (for non-emergency calls) by dialing 211. CBS affiliate News9 is tweeting consistent updates on shelters and relief.

• Residents are being asked for gloves, boots, toiletries, shovels, trash bags, dust masks, or cash. Bring these items to:

News 9 Studio
 7401 North Kelley Ave
 Oklahoma City, OK 73111

This article originally appeared at TakePart, a leading source of socially relevant news, features, opinion, entertainment, and information – all focused on the issues that shape our lives.

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