Tornado Relief Comes from Ladue and Frontenac
Area churches and schools step to the front to help those affected by the Good Friday storms.
While many organizations scurried around on Monday, April 25, trying to decide how to get relief to tornado victims in North County, Jane Garvin took matters into her own hands.
Wanting to help those rendered homeless by the powerful E4 tornado that swept through the Maryland Heights and Bridgeton on Good Friday, Garvin, a social studies teacher at St. Joseph’s Academy, got donations from a local grocery store and headed to Grace Church in Maryland Heights.
The church, which is one of the command centers in the area, was asking for donations of bottled water and non-perishable items.
“I then went to Pattonville High School, which is collecting other items,” she said. “But they said that what they really needed is monetary donations for the families in their school who are homeless.”
Garvin heads up the St Joseph Angel Outreach Program that helps many of the area’s disadvantaged. By last Thursday, they had organized a drive to involve the St. Joseph community in helping those affected by the tornado.
Everyone in the school community is being asked to donate at least $2 which will be given directly to the tornado victims.
Besides money, the following items are requested: personal and bathroom items such as shampoo, soap, gel, mousse, hair brushes, non-prescription medications such as children’s and adult Tylenol, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, chap stick, deodorant, towels and washcloths, underwear and socks for men, women and children, disposable diapers, baby wipes, laundry baskets, Rubbermaid™ containers, non-perishable food, and children’s books.
Garvin said they would be taking the items to the Zion Lutheran Church at 12075 Dorsett Road in Maryland Heights.
“We delivered last Friday and will be doing so again this week,” she said. “Volunteers are needed for deliveries.”
Anyone wanting to donate items or volunteer is asked to contact Garvin at 314-965-7205, ext. 246.
Other area churches have stepped up with relief efforts.
Ladue Chapel, 9450 Clayton Rd., is working through their local presbytery.
“Right now we are focusing through the United Way and the American Red Cross because this has come on so fast and so widespread,” said administrator Vicki Hampton. “It’s not like a hurricane or tsunami in one spot. It’s all over the Midwest, and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is assessing right now.”
Salem United Methodist Church,1200 S. Lindbergh Blvd., is working through the Arlington United Methodist Church in Bridgeton, said communications coordinator Kimberly Wallace. “We are sending our donations of help through them. We’ll be taking up donations and sending them also.”
The Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Rd., is in the process of organizing assistance for their members who were affected.
“We are trying to determine what assistance is needed,” said Cathy Spalding, public relations director. “It could be help cleaning up, help with food, shelter, transportation, and counseling. We are also asking people to donate to the Red Cross.”
Pastor Kevin Golden of the Village Lutheran Church, 9237 Clayton Rd., said their congregation is supporting efforts of the World Relief and Human Care.
“This is a mercy branch of the church body that uses funds to supply and help people rebuild and meet their other fiscal needs as they recover,” Golden said.
Faith Des Peres Presbyterian Church, 11155 Clayton Rd., is doing “hands-on” help for members of the congregation with families who were in the tornado’s path. Pastor Annie Epling said they had also taken up a special donation for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, which disperses funds for disaster areas.
Much more help is needed for the North County residents affected by the tornado. Those who want some direction in volunteering can call Grace Church at 314-291-6647