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A bucket for placing money for support of residents and first responders is seen here at the Little Czech Bakery in West, Texas, Friday April 19, 2013. The bodies of 12 people have been recovered after an enormous Texas fertilizer plant explosion that demolished surrounding neighborhoods for blocks and left about 200 other people injured, authorities said Friday. (AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)
Posted: Saturday, 20 April 2013 10:39AM

How to help disaster victims in Boston and Texas

It has been a week of tragedies across America. Following Katrina, residents of both Texas and Boston opened up their hearts, homes, and  wallets to help us recover.  Here are some ways you can return the favor to help those impacted by this week's disasters:

West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion:

•   The United Way of Tarrant County is accepting donations for West victims online or at 817-258-8019.  Click here for info.

•  The Knights of Columbus organization is taking donations for the West, Texas Disaster Relief Fund online.   Click Here for info.

•  A Facebook page called Prayers for Victims of Waco/West TX Fertilizer Plant Disaster has information rom several Texas organizations, including churches and fire departments, about how to help out.   Click HERE to visit that facebook page.

•  The Red Cross says for this and other disasters, cash is the usually the best and easiest way to give, because needed items can be purchased in bulk at the best price.  Click HERE to donate to the Red Cross disaster relief fund.  You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make an immediate $10 donation, which will be added to your phone bill. 

•  Google has set up an online site for individual offers of aid of any kind for West, TX residents:   https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet

•  If you live in the North Texas area, you can deliver two-gallon Ziploc bags filled with toiletry items to Baylor’s Faith In Action Second Life Resource warehouse located on the Baylor Dallas campus at 310 N. Walton St. close to the DART station. You can also consult your local Baylor hospital’s pastoral care office to find a drop off spot in your community. To find a Baylor hospital near you, visit BaylorHealth.com. Please deliver your items by Wednesday, April 24. The Faith In Action team will be delivering these hygiene kits to the West community in the coming days.  (Because of logistics, this is for North Texas residents only, please do not mail supplies.)

Boston Marathon bombing:

•  The main fund set up to help those most affected by Monday’s tragedy is “One Fund Boston,” set up by the Governor and Mayor.  Click HERE for more information on the fund and to make an online contribution.
•  Boston's public safety unions have also formed the Boston First Responders Fund and are donating 100 percent of the money they raise to victims and their families.  Click HERE for more information on this fund.  

•  The Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the American Red Cross serves more than five million people across 181 cities and towns, including Boston.  Click HERE to donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. 

•  The first instinct for many after a tragedy is to donate blood.  Thanks in part to some race participants who ran right from the race to the hospital to donate blood, the Red Cross is more than equipped to care for the victims.  But you can help with future emergencies in our area by scheduling a blood donation and then giving regularly.  Click HERE for info on the Blood Center for Southeast Louisiana..

•  Many bystanders rushed toward the blast site to render aid.  Click HERE for information about signing up for a Red Cross First Aid class to be prepared for a disaster in your area. 

•  The techies over at TUGG (Technology Underwriting Greater Good) are collaborating with the mayor's office, Red Cross, and area hospitals to find the best places to distribute donations. Check out their fundraising page HERE. 
•  Following the bombing, the Salvation Army mobilized to set up mobile kitchens going for emergency responders and families.  You can donate to the Salvation Army HERE.  

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