Community members open donation site to help victims of deadly tornado

TRUMANN, AR. — The Trumann community is rallying together to help its neighbors in need after a tornado destroyed hundreds of homes in the Arkansas city. Volunteers opened a donation site at the Trumann Recreational Complex where those impacted by the storm can find relief.

“It’s been an overwhelming response from our community, from surrounding communities, from surrounding states,” said Terah Redman, who’s the coordinator for the donation center. “Everyone is so grateful for what we’re doing here, and you can see it in their eyes how the relief they have when they can have a clean blanket, but also the despair in their face that they don’t know where they’re going to be tomorrow.”

Redman said since Saturday morning, she and dozens of volunteers have been collecting and organizing canned goods, toiletries, clothes, and other essentials. They’ve helped load the items into boxes for those picking them up, or have had the items delivered. So far, Redman said they’ve been able to assist more than 1,000 people in some way.

“Everyone comes in. They have different needs,” said Redman. “People without electricity want blankets and flashlights. People who have lost their house, they need a hotel room or to do their laundry, and we’re able to help them with that.”

Volunteers from other organizations have also been on-site to help. Tuesday morning, about 20 volunteers from Lowe’s unloaded crates of boxes at the TRC before heading into town to help in the cleanup efforts. And volunteers from Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief have been providing hot meals every day.

“Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and anything in between,” said volunteer cook Janna Stotts. “They come in. They’re hungry. They get something to eat. My house was spared, and they have nothing. It’s just devastating; my heart aches for them. I just want to get back what I have. It’s heartbreaking to see the need, but it’s also uplifting to see that we can give back.”

If you would like to donate, you can drop off items at the Trumann Recreational Complex on Pecan Grove Rd. from 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. You can also call the Trumann donation center organizer, Terah Redman, at 870-650-0295 to find out which items are most needed or how to submit monetary donations.