The photographs have been all over the news: razed buildings, smashed vehicles, personal belongings destroyed and scattered.
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The nation is reaching out to help victims of the tornadoes near Oklahoma City, and residents of the Santa Clarita Valley are no exception.
Local nonprofit Help the Children, a Christian humanitarian relief organization, is offering residents a way to make a difference for people who’ve lost everything in the recent storms.
They are raising money to send a truck of necessities and relief supplies into the area, and are accepting monetary and tangible donations until June 8.
Though Moore, Okla. was hit hardest by the tornadoes, Help the Children President Roger Presgrove said that the truck will actually be going to the neighboring communities of Shawnee and Bethel Acres, where at least 720 people have been affected.
“There are like 10 trucks sitting there waiting to get into Moore,” he said.
The outpouring of support to the victims in Moore has been overwhelming, but first-responders are not letting anyone in yet, as cleanup efforts continue.
Presgrove did not want to send a truck that would spend “four to five months sitting there,” he said.
Instead, he wants to send supplies to those who can use them right away.
For those interested in donating, Help the Children is looking for basic supplies like nonperishable food, clothing, hygiene items, such as toothbrushes and “whatever you would need if you lost your home,” Presgrove said.
It will cost $3,000 in fuel alone to send the truck to Oklahoma, according to Arif Halaby, president and CEO of Total Financial Solutions in Newhall, who is partnering with Help the Children.
Real Life Church in Valencia has already donated $10,000, but Presgrove did not want to discourage people from donating, in the hopes that Help the Children might be able to send more than one truck.
Halaby added that a donation of $20 will cover the costs of transporting roughly 30 pounds of food, enough to feed a family for a month.
Presgrove said that there is also a great need for chainsaws to clear the debris from the road. The funds from Real Life will enable them to purchase 75 chainsaws, and the Home Depot Foundation has agreed to match that.
In addition to Help the Children, there are other organizations in the SCV and surrounding area that are accepting donations for the tornado victims. Click here for more information or visit the SCV for Moore, Oklahoma Facebook page.
Similar to warnings that went out after the Boston Marathon bombing, Halaby said that he would “encourage people to use a legitimate organization” and beware of scams.
Help the Children is still putting all the pieces into place, so check back for more details.
To donate money online, click here. Tangible donations can be made at Help the Children’s office on Avenue Tibbitts in Valencia.
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Source: Santa Clarita News