Tulsa Rotary Club Helps Arkansas Tornado Victims

Monday, April 11th 2022, 12:07 am


Tulsa Rotarians are helping tornado victims in a neighboring state by donating essential items to folks who are recovering.

The goal is to support student victims of an EF-3 tornado that cut through Springdale, Arkansas late last month.

Related Story: Tulsa's Sunrise Rotary Donating Essential Items To Arkansas Tornado Victims

Tornado victims said when you're left with nothing, something as small as a blanket can provide comfort and hope.

"We're always looking for a need," said VJ Lively.

The Medical Supplies Network receives expired medical equipment from hospitals and clinics all over.

"We send supplies around the world that are still very usable and still very needed," said Kevin Merrill.

They wrap their arms around the globe.

"We've got containers into countries you wouldn't imagine. From [...], Togo, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Venezuela, Ukraine," said Lively.

This time, their needs take them just down the turnpike and past the Oklahoma state line to Springdale, Arkansas.

"These road trips are fast and furious," said Lively.

The Rotary Club of Tulsa Sunrise spent Saturday packing up essential supplies, then taking a two-hour trip to the Northwest corner of the Natural State.

"Without those community partnerships, we're just an empty building," said Damon Donnell, Director of Student Services for Springdale Public Schools.

The Treehouse Pantry in Springdale, Arkansas now has its shelves stocked to help students who were impacted by the tornado that tore through town last month, ripping off roofs, uprooting trees, destroying this elementary school gym, and flattening businesses.

"It was pretty much a straight line through Springdale, and it just, it kind of hopped and skipped as it went," said Donnell.

Damon Donnell with Springdale Public Schools said Tulsa Rotary reached out to ask, 'How can we help?'

"I think he started off with 1,000 blankets and I said, 'would it be possible to get 1,800,' and he said, 'absolutely,' and he brought 2,000," said Donnell.

Every student in the three most impacted schools in the district will get a brand-new blanket.

"I'm a big believer in this: I believe everyone can contribute. No matter where you're at in your life," said Donnell.

News On 6's Ashlyn Brothers was told Springdale Public Schools will begin distributing blankets next week to students on a non-rainy day.


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