A coalition of area churches, businesses and other groups is collecting supplies for people left homeless by the deadly tornado that ravaged Moore, Okla., on Monday.
Items ranging from toiletries and hand sanitizer to clothing and portable canopies will be accepted at four locations in Marietta, Parkersburg and Vienna today through Saturday. In addition, more than a dozen churches will be gathering items which will be sorted and sent to Oklahoma by truck on Tuesday.
"This is actually leaders in the community and pastors and others that are getting together and saying, 'Let's make this happen,'" said Rodney Lord, pastor of Valley Harvest Church in Reno.
Lord spoke with a friend who pastors an affiliated church about 30 miles from the Oklahoma City suburb devastated by Monday's massive tornado and has been in contact with other churches in the area.
"He's already said there are 20 families that they're already aware of that lost everything," Lord said. "We were in communication with them (Tuesday) as they were driving to different locations to distribute water and diapers."
Glenn Newman, with the Marietta OH 9-12 Project, which is helping with the effort, said items being sought include razors, shampoo, toilet paper, toothbrushes and toothpaste, first aid kits, toys that don't require batteries, rubber gloves and even lawn chairs so older people will have a place to sit.
The Gallery, 220 Front St., Marietta.
Kroger, 40 Acme St., Marietta.
Burger King, 514 Division St., Parkersburg.
Vienna Baptist Church, 3401 Grand Central Ave., Vienna, W.Va.
Collection times -10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
A list of items needed and additional information can be found online at movfriends.com
Participating churches (which will also be collecting donations)
Belpre Church of Christ.
Evergreen Bible Church, Marietta.
Faith Bible Church, Williamstown.
Faith Joy Fellowship, Beverly.
First Baptist, Marietta.
First Baptist, New Matamoras.
Grand Central Church of Christ, Vienna.
Lighthouse Baptist, Vincent.
Marietta Church of God.
North Parkersburg Baptist.
St. Mary's Catholic Church, Marietta.
St. Paul's Evangelical Church, Marietta.
South Parkersburg Baptist.
Valley Harvest Church, Reno.
Vienna Baptist Church.
Williams Creek Baptist Church, Williamstown.
Wood County Christian School.
"Usually people will find something (to donate) that really attracts them," he said.
A list of items needed can be found online at movfriends.org.
Once gathered, the items will be sorted Tuesday at Skuttle Indoor Air Quality Products in Marietta. When everything is in place, a truck and driver from Marietta Transport Company will take them to Oklahoma.
The company will cover the costs, even if a second truck is needed, said Vice President Dennis Davis.
"Figured it'd be our part of doing a good deed," he said. "We told them however much stuff they collected we'd take it down for them."
Donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. today and Friday at Kroger in Marietta, the Gallery on Front Street in Marietta, Vienna Baptist Church and Burger King in south Parkersburg. Items can also be taken to those places from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Items can also be taken to participating churches, Newman said.
People can contribute monetarily by donating to the American Red Cross online at www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
While the Ohio Attorney General's Office had not received any complaints as of Wednesday about scams related to tornado relief, people have tried to take advantage of such situations in the past.
"Certainly we do encourage individuals to be wise, give to reputable groups and be wary of those email or text messages from groups they're not familiar with," said Kate Hanson, public information officer with the attorney general.
The attorney general's website has a section, www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Business/Services-for-Charities/Good-Giving, aimed at helping Ohioans make informed choices about donating to charities. Hanson said people can contact the office to find out if a particular group is registered with the state, and there are also options, such as www.guidestar.org, to research national groups.