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updated: 5/21/2013 9:52 PM

Local Red Cross office, Salvation Army helping tornado victims

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By Mackenzie Dye
mdye@dailyherald.com

In the aftermath of the devastating tornado that ripped through Oklahoma City, people across the nation are sending aid.

In the Chicago area, organizations are still waiting to hear details of what additional help is needed as the destruction is surveyed by Oklahoma officials. Monetary donations are currently being accepted, but supplies are not.

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At the Red Cross community center in Arlington Heights, one person is being sent to Oklahoma, but officials are waiting word on what additional people are needed. "We should know more in the next 48 hours," said Patrica Kemp, a communications manager for the Red Cross.

The Red Cross workers in Oklahoma are working to see what resources could be provided by other areas. With the chaos of the tornado winding down, and as more causalities are found, more workers may be sent to help treat victims spiritually or physically.

"What resources they would need out there from us would be staff, mental health or health services," said Kemp. "We have people that are trained and ready to deploy; we just need to get the word if help is needed."

In addition to Red Cross, the Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Services is providing food, beverage, and spiritual support to survivors and first responders, according to a news release.

Severely impacted areas like the suburbs of Moore and South Oklahoma City are receiving mobilized disaster response units from the Salvation Army.

Those looking to help can make monetary donations. Donations can be made at SalvationArmyUSA.org, or by calling 1 (800)-SAL-ARMY. Donors can also text "STORM" to 80888 to make a $10 donation.

Donations for the Red Cross can be made online at redcross.org/charitable-donations, or by calling 1 (800) RED-CROSS. Text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to give a $10 donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

In Geneva, the Mill Creek Elementary School student council is accepting donations for the tornado victims. Checks should be made payable to the American Red Cross, with "Oklahoma tornado disaster relief" written in the memo line. And until May 30, all daily profits from the school store will also be donated to the relief fund.

• Daily Herald staff writer Susan Sarkauskas contributed to this report.

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