Supporting local relief efforts to Oklahoma - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Supporting local relief efforts to Oklahoma

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Amarillo, TX -- In the aftermath of a disaster, the most important needs people face are their most basic: food, water, and shelter.  And the High Plains Food Bank and the Salvation Army in Amarillo are doing all they can to help Oklahoma residents meet those needs and begin rebuilding their lives.

The food bank is donating hundreds of MREs to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, where they can be distributed where and when they're needed most.  And the Salvation Army is sending some of their own volunteers to offer logistical and emotional support.

And while the desire to help is virtually universal, cash donations are the most useful way to contribute, as Oklahoma services are being inundated with donations from surrounding communities.

"One thing we don't want to do is become more of a hindrance or a burden to the relief effort that's going on right now," explains Zack Wilson of the High Plains Food Bank.  "Our understanding is there's already been a huge response for food and water in the state of Oklahoma for the food bank already, so we just want to be cognizant of that."

The Salvation Army plans to offer both short-term support in the form of donations and volunteers, and also long-term support in securing housing as victims make the transition back to some sense of normalcy.

"We will do this initial service where we're helping people with food and support, but then we'll be helping people pay rent and provide sustenance," says Maj. Harvey Johnson of the Amarillo branch of the Salvation Army.  "Oklahoma City's a big area and we have a lot of structure in place already with the Salvation Army, so the best way people can help us is through cash donations."

"Anywhere in this country, when something like this major happens, a disaster, there's always that great human spirit to want to step up and help each person's neighbor," says Wilson.  "But the most tangible way right now, based on our dialogue with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, that people can help directly, is to help monetarily."

You can contribute any donations directly to the food bank or the Salvation Army at the links attached to this story.

You can also text the word "STORM" to 80888 to send $10 to the Salvation Army or you can text the word "FOOD" to 32333 to send $10 to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

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