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We spent much of two days last week watching radar, looking for up-to-the-minute weather reports and seeing what could be heading our way. We were spared any major damage, but we have seen how devastating the system was through national and state news reports.
We also know about the generosity of Marion Countians. We witnessed it firsthand with the ice storm and the flooding that affected our community in recent years.
We hope you can find some way to donate to the relief efforts, but before you do, please consider some advice from the Better Business Bureau. Be careful when donating online. Make sure the website describes how they are helping in the affected area, and make sure the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups.
One charity we know is already working to help storm victims is the American Red Cross. Donations can be made in a variety of ways, including at local businesses, online at www.redcross.org, and even via text message. By texting REDCROSS to 90999, $10 will be added to your cell phone bill as a donation.
Before donating clothing, food or supplies, make sure there is a system in place to handle those types of donations. One organization that is requesting those kinds of items is the Kentucky State Police.
Through Sunday, March 10, the state police are accepting donated items to assist those affected by the tornadoes and to provide supplies for those assisting with the clean-up effort. The state police do not want monetary donations, and in fact, they are requesting that any financial donations be sent to the Red Cross.
The state police are accepting antibiotic cream, baby blankets, baby formula, baby food, band-aids, batteries, bath towels and washcloths, blankets, body wash, bottles, bottled hand soap and hand sanitizer, bottled water, cat and dog food, cleaning supplies (bleach, mops, brooms and buckets), coffee pots, deodorant, diapers (all sizes), disposable gloves (rubber or latex), feminine products, first aid kits, flashlights, gift cards, laundry detergent, leather gloves, non-perishable food items, paper goods (plates, napkins, towels and bowls), plastic goods (cups and cutlery), plastic containers, rakes, shampoo and cream rinse, shaving cream and razors, shovels, soap, styrofoam cups, thermoses, toilet paper, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and trash bags (all sizes).
These items can be dropped off at any KSP Post. The closest posts to Marion County is Post 15, located at 1118 Jamestown Street in Columbia and Post 4, located at 1055 North Mulberry in Elizabethtown.
We realize that times are still tough for many families economically, but we would encourage you to help in any way you can. Even something as small as a $5 donation to the Red Cross or household supplies to the KSP will help the relief effort.
If you can give more or if you can even assist with the clean-up effort, please do, we are certain that any help would be appreciated.