Austin businesses collect donations for victims in Moore



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Posted on May 21, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 21 at 6:01 PM

AUSTIN -- After seeing the images of heartbreak and devastation in Oklahoma, many people are looking for ways they can help. Employees at Hula Hut on Lake Austin say they had that same reaction. Now they're taking donations and planning a trip to visit our neighbors in Moore.

"I think we all were trying to figure out what to do. What can we do? What can we do?" said Hula Hut General Manager Tim Johnson.

Johnson says images of tornado destruction are all too familiar.

"I'm from the Midwest, and so I got to live through tornadoes growing up, and it's just devastating. Your heart goes out, especially with loss of children, loss of homes. It's scary," he said. "A former employee and a buddy of mine called and said, 'Hey, I'm going to rent a truck, get some water, gloves and whatever they need and take it up there. Could we be a central location?' I said, 'You bet, come on, let's go.'"

They're not alone in wanting to help.

"We're getting a lot of, barraged one might say, with telephone calls on what people can do," said Randy Allen, communications director for Salvation Army of Austin.

Allen says right now they're only taking one kind of donation. "What is needed is money more than anything," Allen explained.

The Salvation Army has seven trucks in Moore but none from Texas. Allen says they're on standby, but resources are already spread thin.

"Take the West, Texas situation, the north Dallas situation, go into an Oklahoma County and now you have complete devastation. It's human nature to help someone that's without," Allen said.

That's why Hula Hut has created a list of items you can donate including:

-Work Gloves (leather)
-Bottled Water
-Surgical Masks
-First Aid Kits
-Baby Wipes
-Visa Gift Cards

"Bring it on down, whatever they want to give. We'll take it up there," Johnson said.

To give monetary donations to The Salvation Army click here, or send checks to their office at: P.O. Box 1000 Austin, TX 78767

Or you can text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the victims of the Moore tornado.

Bethany Lutheran Church located at 3701 W. Slaughter Lane, Austin, TX 78749, will also be accepting donations until Thursday May23 at 12 p.m. They will take any diapers, canned goods, non-perishable food and snack items, bottled water, gatorade, wipes, diapers, baby formula, hand towels, individually wrapped snacks, and work gloves. Financial donations can also be made there.

Click here for more ways you can help the Oklahoma tornado victims.