UPDATED 5 p.m. Dec. 30
Editor’s note: If your local business or organization is helping with tornado relief efforts, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will continue to update this story.
Disaster relief efforts are underway after tornadoes on Dec. 26 caused major damage in North Texas. Numerous cities in four counties—Collin, Dallas, Rockwall and Ellis—all received damage.
Businesses, churches and other organizations across the Dallas-Fort Worth area have mobilized to accept and deliver donations.
Hayes Carter, who owns Anytime Fitness locations in Frisco, Garland and Rowlett, is using his business to help those in need. The tornado came very close to his Rowlett location, he said, but while his business was untouched, homes of some of his members were not spared.
In addition to opening up the gym for victims to use the showers, he and his team are collecting donations and distributing them to not only the Garland and Rowlett areas, but also other communities such as Farmersville and Nevada that were also damaged. The Frisco location of Anytime Fitness is accepting donations along with the Frisco Waxing the City location, which is owned by his wife, Paige Carter.
“Anything we can do to help those in need,” Hayes Carter said. “We are monitoring Facebook and talking to our members, trying to find out what is needed and help fill the demand,” he said.
Anita Foster, communications officer for the North Texas region of The American Red Cross, said the organization is still operating about 100 shelters for people displaced in the storms.
“The fastest way to help is a financial donation,” she said.
Monetary donations to the Red Cross go to fund relief aspects including shelters, food and clothing, and also items people might not think about donating, such as gloves, trash bags and other cleanup items that families will need to begin recovering from damage, Foster said.
Red Cross donations can be made online at www.redcross.org/donate/donation. Another quick way to help provide disaster relief is to donate $10 by texting REDCROSS to 90999, Foster said.
The Salvation Army is also accepting monetary donations online at https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/texas/texas-dhq/disaster/texas-flood-tornado-relief
Collin County is opening a Disaster Resource Center at noon Dec. 30 to serve as a command post for people interested in providing resources or volunteering to help with clean up, according to Collin County Sen. Van Taylor. The center is opening at First Baptist Church of Farmersville, 124 S. Washington St., Farmersville. People wanting to donate supplies can contact the Collin County Emergency Management Department at 972-548-4383 to find out what items are needed. http://www.collincountytx.gov/
Where to donate locally:
Anytime Fitness of Frisco, 8745 Gary Burns Drive, Ste. 110, and Waxing the City of Frisco, 9320 Dallas Parkway, Ste. 150, are collecting items to take to the tornado-hit areas. Items needed include gift cards, toiletries, food, blankets, school supplies, diapers, gift cards, baby formula and pet food. Organizers are asking people to not bring clothes because of an oversupply. www.facebook.com/anytimefitnessfriscotx, www.facebook.com/waxingfrisco
The nonprofit North Texas REALTORS in Action Foundation, created by the Collin County Association of REALTORS is also collecting monetary donations to assist in recovery. Checks are payable to “North Texas REALTORS in Action Foundation” and indicate “tornado damage assistance” in the memo line. Checks may be mailed or delivered to the CCAR at 6821 Coit Road in Plano. For those who may know people in need, email email@example.com. www.ccar.net
Raising Cane’s, which has a location in Rowlett and another in Rockwall, is helping First Rowlett United Methodist Church raise funds for tornado relief efforts. On Dec. 30 from 4-9 p.m., 100 percent of the proceeds from food orders at either the Rowlett (4509 Lakeview Parkway) or Rockwall (1114 IH-30) restaurants will be donated to the relief effort when patrons mention the fundraiser. Raising Cane’s is also collecting funds at all of its Dallas-Fort Worth area locations Dec. 29-30. Restaurant officials said to let restaurant crew members know you would like to contribute; no purchase is necessary. www.facebook.com/events/801634539958809
Good Samaritans of Garland Inc.—a nonprofit serving the Garland, Rowlett and Sachse areas is accepting donations of canned foods such as pancake mix/syrup, jelly and peanut butter, and spaghetti/sauce and instant oatmeal, as well as hygiene products. Gift cards and cash donations are also needed for assisting with prescriptions, gas, etc. Drop off: Dec. 29-30. 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Dec. 31. 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Jan. 1 hours TBD. Location: 214 N. 12th St., Garland. www.goodsamofgarland.org
Local animal shelters have mobilized to take care of the animals displaced in the tornadoes. Organizers of Lost & Found Pets from the North Texas Tornado Outbreak Facebook page said animal control offices have expressed a need for items including: bottled water, paper towels, trash bags, cleaning supplies (bleach, floor cleaner, lysol, etc), cat litter, disposable cat litter trays, plastic storage containers for food and medical supplies, cat food, towels, blankets, kennels or pet carriers, leashes and collars. People looking to foster animals, volunteer or donate can contact the following animal control offices:
- Rowlett Animal Control, 4402 Industrial St., Rowlett, www.rowlett.com
- Garland Animal Services, 600 Tower St., Garland, www.garlandanimalservices.org
- Wylie Animal Control, 949 Hensley Lane, Wiley, www.wylietexas.gov
- Collin County Animal Shelter, 4750 Community Ave., McKinney, www.collincountytx.gov/animal_services
- Red Oak Animal Shelter, 411 W. Red Oak Road, Red Oak, www.redoaktx.org
Legacy ER & Urgent Care locations are accepting donations for the tornado disaster relief effort. They are collecting canned goods, bottled water, baby supplies, jackets, winter gloves/hats, toiletries, sanitizer, toys and pet food. Legacy ER & Urgent Care has two Frisco locations, and locations in McKinney, Southlake/Keller, Allen, Coppell and North Richland Hills. www.facebook.com/LegacyERandUrgentCare
CrossFit 972 in Plano, 1000 Jupiter Road, Ste. 700, will be hosting a free community workout and relief drive for the storm victims at 9 a.m. Jan. 2. The gym is collecting donations including clothing, canned goods, water, cleaning supplies and toys. Any financial donations will be donated to charities that are helping with cleanup efforts. http://crossfit972rallyforrowlett.eventbrite.com
Half Price Books is holding a toiletry drive through Jan. 1 at its 20 area locations during regular store hours. Items include new, unopened toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant and other new toiletries. Cash donations are also accepted. Among others, Half Price Books has locations in Frisco, Plano and McKinney. www.hpb.com