Financial donations for the Baxter Springs tornado recovery effort may be made to United Way of SW Missouri & SE Kansas through cash, check, or credit card at the Joplin office: 3510 East Third Street, Joplin, MO 64801; or Pittsburg office: 117 West 4th Street, Pittsburg, KS 66762. One may also give online at unitedwaymokan.org and choose Donate Now.
JOPLIN, Mo. — The twister that ravaged the eastern Kansas community of Baxter Springs may have happened half a state away, but it could have happened anywhere, said Julie Bugner Smith, executive director of the United Way of Central Kansas.
“You never know when your community could need the help of others,” she said Friday.
So, United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas has announced the creation of a tornado relief fund for the city of Baxter Springs following the EF-2 tornado on Sunday, April 27. According to city officials, the storm was more than two miles long and two blocks wide, leaving over 100 homes and 12 businesses damaged or destroyed.
The United Way system provides the ability to connect and help each other, she said. “The beauty of united way is communities united together in time of need. Please consider helping out Baxter Springs during this difficult time.”
Baxter Springs Schools superintendent Dennis Burke praised recovery efforts today and said, “Our goal right now as a community is to help those most affected by Sunday’s storm to keep Baxter Springs their home. Efforts by United Way and other recovery organizations are vital in helping us do just that.”
Donations of food and water can be taken to the First Baptist Church at 10th and East Avenue. American Red Cross will be coordinating the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) at the Baxter Springs High School campus, 110 North Military, beginning May 1 from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. No clothing donations are requested at this time.
In addition, United Way of the Plains set up a Volunteer Reception Center to coordinate the cleanup from the weekend tornado. Hours of operation will be 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., but new volunteers must check in by 6 p.m. The address is 2402 Military Road, Baxter Springs, Kansas and is on the south end of town, across from Casey’s General Store.
There is plenty of parking at the center and volunteers will be driven by bus to their assigned sites to work. Plans are to have the Volunteer Reception Center open through this weekend. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own tools such as shovels, rakes, gloves, face masks, etc. United Way of the Plains set up the center at the request of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management to provide an orderly system for volunteer cleanup from the tornado damage.
For the latest information on volunteering in Baxter Springs, call 2-1-1 (United Way’s 24-hour information line).