How to Help Tornado Victims

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(Photo credit CBS News

The aftermath of this weekend’s storms is becoming very apparent today.  Nearly 30% of the city of Joplin, Missouri was damaged or destroyed by a massive tornado that struck on May 22nd.    Many perished in the storm, but there are thousands of survivors who are in need of basic necessities such as food, water and shelter.

In the past I have seen Penny Pinchin’ Mom readers rise to the occassion to help others.  You all have learned how to save money on necessities and often times have stockpiles.  So many of you dug into those items and donated them to help others in Alabama recently — and I thank you for that. 

I know many of you want to find a way to help those struck by tornados in both Joplin, MO and Reading, KS.  Of course, you can’t (and should not) just send items to these areas without going through the correct channels.  Here are several great ways that you can make donations of items and cash.  If you are unable to help in these ways, prayer is always a great way to help – as they could use all of them that they can get.

Kansas City Blood Drives:  Today, there will be two blood drives available for people to stop in and help —

American Red Cross Greater Kansas City Chapter
2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Cass County Room
211 W. Armour Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64111
3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Community Room
10301 East State Route 350
Raytown, MO 64138

Volunteer:  If you want to physically help and volunteer, you can call 800-427-4626.  If you have any medical training, head to

Help with Long Term Relief:  Often times, after storms such as these, the donations stop.  You can help with the ongoing efforts by checking out Missouri Interfaith Disaster Response Organization.

Heart of Missouri United Way:  Donate $10 instantaly by  “JOPLIN” to 864833.

Red Cross:  You can make a cash donation to the Red Cross to help victims on both sides of the state line by heading to their site and donating.  You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate.

Heart to Heart International:  This is a company based out of Olathe, KS.  You can donate online at , calling 913-764-5200, or mailing it to 401 S. Clairborne, Suite 302, Olathe, KS 66062.  You can also sign up to volunteer if you have medical training — call 913-764-5200 or email  You can also put together hygiene kits — get more information on Heart to Heart’s website at

Humane Society:  You can make a donation to help the animals affected by the storm by heading to .

Missouri Mavericks:  The Missouri Mavericks are collecting bottled water, clothing, toiletries and other donations at their team store at the Independence Event Center until 6 p.m. Monday, May 23.

Northland Auto Body and Tow: They are taking donations for blankets, bottled water, toiletries, canned goods, radios, tarps, flashlights, batteries and clothing to be dropped off at 64th and Chattham.  For more information call 816-741-2588.

I know that there are MANY more ways to donate and help — I’ve listed only a few here.    Thank you all for you warm and giving hearts.


  1. amanda says

    Thanks so much for posting this info! I sit here in Lee’s Summit and feel totally helpless as a nurse and EMT. I registered with and hope I can help in some way!

  2. Jen says

    My mom’s small business, Pamella’s Place, is collecting pillowcases & quilts. Her business is a sewing, quilting shop. They will be sending them to Samaritan’s Purse who will distribute them. Samaritan’s Purse will then distribute them to the people that need them. You can check out for more information. I’ve not heard of quilt shops in our area doing this yet…

  3. Mary Theus says

    Where in raytown, mo to donate non-perish items? Unable to drive to fairway, ks to kctv ch5

  4. Donna Finter says

    Kim, glad you and your family are okay. Thanks for the ideas. I am praying for Joplin and the rest of the Midwest as more storms approach.

  5. Jennifer S says

    Anyone know how long we can donate? We are wanting to donate our garage sale stuff this weekend. Where can I go in Shawnee OP area to drop off items?

  6. Maddison says

    Longhorn Steakhouse in Lees Summit is accepting donations until thursday…

  7. Donna says

    To those that are in Lee’s Summit area. Jefferson Health Care Center on Oldham Pkwy by the Nazarene Church is receiving 16 Elderly displaced from Joplin today that are coming with nothing.

    They need toiletries if you have any in your stockpile to donate.
    Deodorant, bathwash, toothpaste, etc.
    Combs, razors, hairbrushes
    Twin Size sheets, pillows/pillowcases
    Hand Sanitizer

    Clothing – nightgowns, PJ’s, Robes, etc.
    Slippers, Slipper socks

    Phone number 524-3328

  8. says

    I have given $200 to two different disasters to the Red Cross recently and I just found out that only 10% goes to the people who need it. The head of the Red Cross makes $694,900 and something a year. Check out snopes. I am infuriated. I thought that I was helping the people who needed it. I will never give to the Red Cross again and I will tell every one that I know not to give.

  9. nicole says

    Got this from the Culinary Center of KC newsletter:

    CCKC (Culinary Center of Kansas City) Foodie Friends are made of by donating the following items:
    Canned vegetables
    Canned fruit
    Boxed meals – (Hamburger Helper, Pasta Roni)
    Canned Meat/Tuna
    Peanut Butter
    Canned Soup
    Cereal – hot and cold

    Donations will be accepted right here at the CCKC over the next two weeks. Feel free to drop donations by Mon.-Sat. between 9am & 4pm, or bring them with you if you plan to attend a class or event! We will personally make sure they arrive safe & sound in Joplin.

    Address: 7920 Santa Fe Drive | Overland Park, KS 66204 | 913-341-4455