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How to Help Victims of the Tornadoes

The recovery efforts are just beginning for those in the path of the devastating tornadoes that tore through six states on Friday night. Local and national volunteers and aid groups are prepared to rescue and feed and give shelter to those who have been affected by the storms, which killed at least 90 people.

The tornado outbreak created almost unfathomable levels of destruction across Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee, the authorities said. From a flattened candle factory in Kentucky to a ravaged Amazon warehouse in Illinois, the storms showed no mercy for those who were in its path. Kentucky in particular was hit hard by the storms.

Here are some ways you can help relief efforts.

Before you make a donation, especially to a lesser-known organization, you should do some research to make sure it is reputable. Sites like Charity Navigator and Guidestar grade nonprofits based on transparency and effectiveness. The Internal Revenue Service also allows you to search its database to find out whether an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. And if you suspect an organization or individual of committing fraud, you can report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud, part of the Justice Department.

Blood Assurance, which collects blood donations across its locations in the South, is asking people to make appointments because of a “critical need” for supply in Tennessee and Kentucky.

For people in the area of Bowling Green, Ky., the Bowling Green Fire Department is seeking volunteers to help with recovery efforts. Send the department a Facebook message with your name, contact information and the type of assistance you can provide.

Kentucky Baptist Convention, an organization of Baptist groups, is raising funds to help its teams on the ground in affected areas of the state.

Kentucky Branded, a clothing store in Lexington, is donating all of the proceeds from the sales of its “Pray for Kentucky” T-shirt to communities affected by the tornadoes. The shirt costs $20.

The Kentucky State Police in Mayfield are asking interested volunteers to call 270-331-1979.

Taylor County Bank in Campbellsville, Ky., is accepting donations by mail to its fund for tornado victims. Its mailing address is P.O. Box 200 Campbellsville, Ky., 42719.

The Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund, created by Gov. Andy Beshear, is collecting donations for victims in the western portion of the state.

AmeriCares, a health-focused relief and development organization, has sent an emergency response team to Kentucky and has offered assistance to health care facilities in several states. The organization is accepting donations to help fund these efforts.

CARE, an organization that works with impoverished communities, is collecting money to provide food, cash and clean water to the tornado victims.

Convoy of Hope, an organization that feeds the hungry, is asking for donations to help the survivors across the affected states.

A Feeding America location in Kentucky is raising funds to help provide people with “ready-to-eat bags of food.”

Global Empowerment Mission, a disaster-relief organization, has partnered with local groups and is raising money to help its team on the ground in Kentucky.

GoFundMe has created a centralized hub with verified fund-raisers to help those affected by the tornadoes. It will be updated with new fund-raisers as they are verified.

International Medical Corps, an organization that provides emergency medical services, is raising funds to give people shelter and essential items.

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