Two emergency response vehicles and four drivers from the Heart of Missouri Chapter of the American Red Cross are on standby to head to Oklahoma to help in relief efforts after deadly tornadoes hit the area earlier this week.
"The Red Cross management team is getting in place and then we'll start deploying volunteers," said chapter Executive Director Dave Griffith.
Griffith said four shelters had opened around the area since Monday, fixing 60,000 meals a day for first responders and at shelters for those displaced.
"We've also been in contact with the Missouri Baptist Convention who are experts at feeding mass numbers of people," he said.
During the day Tuesday, Griffith said he and others at the chapter office in Jefferson City fielded a number of phone calls from people wanting to be actively involved.
"Many said it seemed impersonal to write a check, but at end of day it's one of the best you can do," he said. "We've got the resources to multiply those dollars to help many people."
Those who want to donate can go to redcross.org or call 1-800-Red Cross.
Meanwhile, beginning Wednesday at 8:30 a.m., Concord Baptist Church, 3724 W. Truman Blvd., will begin taking drop-off items for tornado victims relief.
The church has worked with a sister church located two miles within the path of one of the tornados.
The items to be collected include: bottled water, formula, new baby bottles, diapers, rakes, tarps, shovels, work gloves, underwear, socks, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and cash.
Donation times will be Wednesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday. No donations will be received on Sunday or Monday.
Donations will again be received on May 28 and May 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.