The tornadoes and floods have been devastating for communities across the American South. Religious organizations from a wide range of traditions are responding to this tragedy with opportunities to volunteer and donate money. Below is a list of relief groups that are on the ground and offering a helping hand. We hope that the Huffington Post Religion community will join in the effort in what ever way we can to help heal these broken lives and let them know we care.
Episcopal Relief & Development
Episcopal Relief & Development has been in contact with the Episcopal dioceses of Louisiana, Mississippi, West Tennessee and Missouri, and is standing by to assist diocesan flood response efforts.
"Please continue to pray for all those impacted by flooding and severe weather, and for those responding to community needs," the website says. To support these efforts through Episcopal Relief & Development, please give to the USA Disaster Response Fund.
Catholic Charities USA
Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) said today that the work of its staff and volunteers is fully engaged in the Southern areas impacted by severe storms and tornadoes two weeks ago, and that additional planning and relief efforts are already under way in anticipation of flood impacted areas and flood victims.
Islamic Relief USA
Islamic Relief USA is in Alabama to help with relief efforts in the aftermath of several tornadoes that ripped through the state on April 27. IRUSA is working with the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross to get much-needed resources to survivors, and to provide disaster-assessment services as quickly and efficiently as possible. IRUSA has also been connecting with area faith-based groups that are collecting and disseminating clothing, food and more to the affected communities.
Nechama & Jewish Disaster Response Corps
After scouting the areas around Mississippi and Alabama in the wake of record-breaking tornadoes and floods, and being mindful of the horrible flooding on the Mississippi in Memphis, NECHAMA (Jewish Response to Disaster) and the Jewish Disaster Response Corps. (JDRC) have jointly committed to a minimum four-month deployment in the south. Experts are comparing the devastation stemming from these disasters to Hurricane Katrina.
Individuals and groups interested in assisting with storm cleanup efforts should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Amy Cytron at email@example.com. Amy's cellphone number is 763-286-6969. They need to raise at least $100,000 to support a significant deployment to the area. Please donate here. All donations are tax deductible. Follow on Facebook
and Twitter for more info.
The Lutheran Church
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod (LCMS), is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. Members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School in Cullman, Ala., an LCMS church, are among the masses dealing with major damages after powerful storms cut a wide swath through the South on April 27, killing more than 250 people in six states in what news reports call the deadliest twister outbreak in nearly 40 years.
To contribute to the church's tornado disaster response, checks can be mailed (noting "Tornado Disaster Relief" in the memo line) to LCMS World Relief and Human Care, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861; by calling 888-930-4438; or an online donation for LCMS "Tornado Disaster Relief" efforts at www.lcms.org/givenow.
Hindu American Seva Charities
Hindu American Seva Charities urges all to respond to the devastation left by deadly storms in Alabama, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Mississippi, as well as the levy break in Missouri.
HASC is working to support the relief effort on the ground through our local partners and the temple communities. We urge you to donate generously and all your funds will be sent for relief. There is an urgent need for supplies such as first aid kits, hygiene supplies, and other essential products to some of the hardest hit communities to help the most vulnerable children and families. Click here to help.
The Jewish Federations of North America
In the wake of the devastating storms and tornadoes that ripped through the Southeast this week, The Jewish Federations of North America is directing support to local communities in the disaster area.
The Birmingham Jewish Federation has opened a Tornado Recovery Fund to raise money for those affected by the storms. Federations are urged to direct donors to the Birmingham Jewish Federation's website or send checks to The Birmingham Jewish Federation, PO 130219, Birmingham, AL, 35213. Please indicate "Tornado Relief" on all checks or in the comments section online.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
Donations to the 2011 Southern storms fund are used exclusively to support Southern Baptist Disasater Relief efforts related to the devastating storms that swept across the South April 27-28, 2011.
The North American Mission Board, along with state Baptist convention leaders, has taken the lead in organizing Southern Baptists to respond to disasters. They contribute manpower, ministry, and financial help during floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, and urban disasters.
Call-1-866-407-6262. Text "NAMBDR" to the number "40579." A one-time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Checks may be mailed to NAMB, P.O. Box 116543, Atlanta, GA 30368-6543. Designate checks for "Southern Storms 2011."
National Baptist Conference
The National Baptist Conference Disaster Relief Fund in the south desperately need your help in the way of financial gifts to provide for one of the most basic of human needs: safe housing and shelter. Thousands of people, particularly those from poverty-stricken areas need to be relocated to safe environments where they can receive additional services to support their health and well-being.
You may respond by sending checks payable to: The NBC, USA, Inc. Disaster Relief Fund and mail to:
Baptist World Center Headquarters
National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
1700 Baptist World Center Drive
Nashville, TN 37207
The American Red Cross was amongst the first on the scene, responding to emergency needs with shelters, meals and snacks and physical and mental health services. We have set up relief operations in these states and will continue to respond as needs emerge and change. Please visit the Red Cross site to donate.
The Salvation Army
Relief efforts from the Salvation Army continue throughout the south. The best way to help tornado survivors and rescue workers is to make a financial contribution. The Salvation Army asks those who want to help to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-725-2769 and designate their gift "April 2011 Tornado Outbreak." Checks may be made out to:
The Salvation Army Disaster Relief
P.O. Box 100339
Atlanta, GA 30384-0339