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Deep in the Heart of West, Texas, Part 1

How you can help our neighbors in West
Kate X Messer, 2:30pm, Thu. Apr. 18, 2013
photo by OTIS IKE
Triage at the scene of the horrific explosion at the West Fertilizer Plant last night in West, Texas
We've all seen the harrowing smoke plume from the explosion of the fertilizer plant in West, Texas.

Since the photos began making the rounds last night, Austin net denizens have been abuzz, first in shock, then with helpless but eager hearts to assist the tiny Texas town.

How can you help? Here's what you can do:

Donate directly to authorized organizations and use their official drop-off spots or designated cash systems. Sadly, it must be stated that in times of crisis, sometimes there are vermin that attempt to profit from other people's loss. Please vet the sources of any entity claiming to accept donations for the West, TX tragedy. (We have vetted all listed here.)

Please donate only specifically requested items. Often after disasters, donation stations are overloaded with clothing and furniture. Those are usually not immediate needs.

Here is a list of resources to aid in your efforts to help.

FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO HELP

Emergency professionals wishing to travel to West, Texas to help (EMS, RNs, doctors, firefighters, etc.) please call: 254/826-4113

American Red Cross will need donations. Call for specifics.
You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

• According to posts on Twitter: The Blood and Tissue Center of Central Texas has put out a call for O Negative blood, and have a great need for platelet donors. If you are another blood flavor, call to make an appointment, please. Austin business owner Tina Cannon just donated and says the staff is "like a pit crew!"

Capital Area Food Bank has a detailed list of needs and strategies.

• Cash donations may be sent directly to Point West Bank.¬† Drop off or send cash to 200 West Oak St. West, TX 76691.

• The folks at Minicore Studios on Burnet will be hauling up provisions tomorrow, Friday, April 19, 1pm. Call Shelley or John at 512/582-7055 or email: contact@minicorestudios.com to see if they can handle your generous donation. They are calling specifically for:
• Bottled Water
• Canned Goods
• Personal Hygiene Items/Toiletries¬†
• Clothing (Adult & Youth sizes)
• Diapers
• Blankets
• Walmart Giftcards

Book People is now accepting monetary donations at all cash registers for (money only) and will also donate a portion of Saturday's sales to the American Red Cross of Central Texas.

CentralTexasFires.org is taking donations. And here's their Facebook page for the latest.

Here's a great array of Facebook pages to inspire more ways to help:
I Am a Texan
Prayers for West
West Firefighters

UPDATE: Another great portal to learn about ways to help is Volunteer Texas.

Check out Part 2 which offers resources/triage for folks who seek help and information.

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