Volunteers, donations pouring into tornado-damaged towns
Call it an overabundance of Hoosier Hospitality, volunteers have been arriving by the bus load to help tornado-ravaged southern Indiana clean up.
Karen Fipps and her husband arrived in Henryville Monday to help distribute food to the volunteers and victims of the tornado and have signed up to help feed volunteers all week. Within minutes of setting up shop, the Morgan County couple had other volunteers asking them if they needed help cooking.
"We have had people come in, ask if they could help us, so there are a lot of volunteers," Karen said.
Volunteers are coming down in such numbers that the Indiana Department of Homeland Security tweeted volunteers were not needed.
"The thing we don't at this point are volunteers who are just showing up en masse without direction," said Jaren Kilian of Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
It comes down to a matter of safety and organization for the volunteers and the victim.
"We just weren't able to capture that and get our arms around it in a controlled fashion so we could most effectively help the people that need that help down here," said Kilian.
In addition to volunteers, donations like clothes are pouring at an incredible rate and people donating clothes are being turned away. Ky Groover, a mother of three children in Henryville schools, says they need school supplies.
"Right now, we need school supplies for our children. I have three in school, two in the elementary and one in middle school and they have nothing. There are no chapter books, there is nothing," Groover said.
The most critical items needed right now are cash donations. Kilian, however, says make no mistake, volunteers are still needed, they need to register with volunteer centers, so the officials organizing the relief efforts can put resources to work in the areas that need it most.
Volunteer reception center
723 North Spring Street
700 Patrol Road