Blytheville Donation Drive For Oklahoma Tornado Victims

(Blytheville, AR) People affected by recent deadly Oklahoma tornadoes are a long way from getting their lives back together.

But thanks to fundraising efforts in communities across the country, the road to recovery is a little smoother.

That includes volunteers in Mississippi County, Ark.,  who kicked off a four-day donation drive in Blytheville.

Tuesday morning, volunteers invaded the Lowe’s parking lot in Blytheville to help out tornado victims in Oklahoma.

Members of the Armorel Fire Department, along with several local churches, want to fill a trailer to help storm victims get back on their feet.

Carl Ross stopped by to donate money,

“America needs to get together and all help out,” he said. “Because it could be anybody at any time.”

Jessica Eldridge helped coordinate the donation drive.

“If we can provide a shirt on their back, or a pair of pants, or even just a pair of shoes, or some clean drinking water,” she said.

The trailer is set up in the Lowe’s parking lot near Interstate-55.

First thing Tuesday, Lowe’s employees donated three pallets of bottled water.

Lowe’s Manager Antonio Sellers didn’t think twice about helping out, saying, “That was a “no brainer”, to having them come out here and set up and try to fill that truck up as soon as possible to head it to Moore, OK. So we’re going to do anything we can to help.”

Volunteers are also accepting cash donations.

Charles Collard, a Lowe’s employee, kicked in a crisp $100 bill,

“Well, I’ve got a brother that lives in Oklahoma and I know how they feel,” he said. “You know they’re in need, so I’m willing to donate everything I can.”

Eva and William Hildebrand bought toilet paper, paper towels and bottled water,

“We’re just thankful to the Lord that nothing like that happened in Blytheville.”

Ronnie Bradley will drive the big rig that will deliver the goods.

The truck, trailer, diesel fuel and “spirit of giving” are a gift from the people of Mississippi County,

“We’re just hoping to help out a little bit. I know people would do it for us, so we’re going to do it for them.”

The donation drive will run through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The group plans to deliver the donated items Saturday to the Red Cross in Oklahoma City.

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