SOUTHERN STORMS

How You Can Help Victims of the Alabama Tornadoes

A list of on-the-ground relief efforts to assist those affected by the deadly storms

photo: David Goldman / Associated Press

A family photo recovered amid the debris of homes in Beauregard, Alabama, on Monday.

Updated March 7

On March 3, a series of devastating tornadoes tore through southeast Alabama. At least twenty-three people were killed and dozens more injured in what officials are calling the deadliest U.S. tornado outbreak in six years. Especially hard hit by the storms—which also touched parts of Georgia and northern Florida—was Lee County, Alabama, where all twenty-three of the reported deaths occurred, and particularly the community of Beauregard. We’ve compiled a list of on-the-ground relief efforts, ways to help from afar, and resources for those in the area.

Alabama Governor’s Relief Fund

The Governor’s Office of Volunteer Services oversees the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund and is now accepting donations for direct tornado relief efforts.

Cajun Navy

The Louisiana-based search-and-rescue team sent members to Alabama on Monday to help with relief efforts and search for those who remain missing. Visit the group’s Facebook page to donate.

Community Foundation of East Alabama

A long-term recovery fund has been created by the Community Foundation of East Alabama. Visit the site or donate directly using PayPal.

Convoy of Hope

The nonprofit is sending supplies and team members to Lee County to assist with relief efforts. Donate to the organization here.

Mercy Chefs

The disaster relief organization has deployed its team of professional chefs to Lee County to feed volunteers, first responders, and tornado victims. Two meals per day will be served at Lazenby Farms in Auburn. Donations can also be made on the website.

Red Cross of East Alabama

The Red Cross is offering various services to victims, including shelter at Opelika’s Providence Baptist Church and helping to locate still-unaccounted for loved ones. Donations can be made here.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has a full incident command team in the area assisting with recovery. The organization’s Lee County Service Center is also providing meals to first responders at six mobile feeding units. Contribute to the effort by donating online.

Samaritan’s Purse U.S. Disaster Response

Samaritan’s Purse has a team on the ground to assist with various relief efforts. Donations to the ongoing work of the organization can be made on its website.

United Way of Central Alabama

The local chapter of the national outreach organization has set up a Lee County Disaster Fund—find ways to donate online.

If you’re in the area:

Acre and Bow & Arrow Restaurants

Chef David Bancroft’s restaurants, both in Auburn, are collecting funds to continue cooking and packing meals for first responders and those affected by the devastation. Visit either restaurant to participate, or check their Facebook pages for more information: Acre | Bow & Arrow

Airbnb

The hospitality service has launched its Open Homes Program to victims and first responders—volunteer your lodging online.

Auburn Dream Center

The outreach center, supported by Church of the Highlands, has opened its doors to both victims and volunteers and is collecting donations of bottled water, granola bars, diapers, baby formula, baby wipes, and hygiene products.

Auburn High School

Students and staff at Auburn High School are accepting donations on campus. For updates and information, keep up with Auburn County Schools on Twitter.

Church of the Highlands

Alabama’s largest church is mobilizing volunteers in the Auburn, Opelika, and Columbus areas. To learn more, the church requests volunteers text the word “response” to 74000 for updates and service opportunities as they arise.

Cluck-It Bucket

The Smiths Station fried chicken restaurant is offering free meals to all first responders.

The Farm at Rocky Top

The Opelika farm and events venue is offering temporary housing to families whose homes were destroyed by the storms.

Goree’s Furniture

The Opelika store is accepting furniture donations to help families who lost their homes and/or belongings. Employees are available to pick up items if needed.

Lee County Association of Realtors

The LCAR is looking for spare rooms, hotel or apartment complex vacancies, or other housing for first responders working in the area. To offer a location, contact organization president Karen Turner.

Opelika Animal Hospital

The animal hospital announced that it is offering boarding services to displaced animals at no charge. It is also taking donations.

Southern Souls Animal League

The Eufaula animal clinic and shelter, damaged in the storm, is in desperate need of homes for its animals. Find more info on their Facebook page or donate to the cause via GoFundMe.

U-Haul of Central Alabama and Southern Georgia

The company’s local branches are providing temporary free self-storage and U-Box container usage to tornado victims. Learn more at the U-Haul site.

The Village Foster Care and Adoptive Ministry

In Smiths Station, The Village is collecting items to transport to affected neighborhoods. Requested donations include clothes, blankets, snacks, baby necessities, and toiletries. The organization is also in need of volunteers to help organize and distribute donations.


To learn more about a charity before donating, consult Charity Navigator.


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