June 3, 2011
The recovery effort in the Western Massachusetts communities affected by this week's tornadoes is underway and expanding. Organizations taking volunteers and donations are listed below, as well as some other ways you can help.
Red Cross - Pioneer Valley Chapter: The Red Cross is already at full volunteer capacity but still needs monetary help. Visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter at 506 Cottage St., Springfield, MA 01104 or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37242, Washington, D.C. 20013.
The Red Cross is also using a website to track residents that have been forced from their homes as a result of the tornadoes. People who have been displaced can post messages to confirm they are safe.
Salvation Army: Donations to aid victims and first-response crews can be made online, or a $10 minimum donation can be made by texting the word TSMA10 to 85944. To volunteer or to make a donation by phone, call 339-502-5900. In the coming days, there will be a request for non-perishable food and water donations. The Salvation Army will announce details for a drop-off location.
United Way of Pioneer Valley: The United Way has established a disaster relief fund with an initial grant of $25,000. To make donations to the Tornado Relief Fund, go to www.uwpv.org and click on the donate button, or mail a check, made payable to United Way of Pioneer Valley, to 184 Mill Street, Springfield, MA 01108. For more information, call the United Way at 413-693-0227.
Food Bank of Western Massachusetts: This food bank in Hatfield coordinated an immediate response to get food and water to people at shelters and those seeking help. For information on how to organize a food drive, visit this site, or follow this link to make a donation online. You can also contact the Food Bank at 413-247-9738 or 800-247-9632.
Easthampton Outdoor Market: This flea market in Easthampton is looking to organize a benefit concert and donation drive for Hampden County. The market will be open this weekend to provide information for interested volunteers. As of this writing, the benefit is scheduled for Saturday, June 25th, and you can follow updates and details on the market's Facebook page.
Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society: The Leverett branch of the shelter is having a sale on cats and kittens from the Springfield area that were abandoned in the storm and are up for adoption. The main shelter in Springfield may also be sending some adoptable animals to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, which will announce more details in the coming days.
IN SPRINGFIELD, TORNADO CLEANUP BEGINS