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How to help: Tornadoes tear across Midwest

By Rebecca Angel Baer, CNN
updated 11:08 AM EST, Mon December 2, 2013
An overturned car rests atop tree branches and other rubble near Washington, Illinois, on Sunday.
An overturned car rests atop tree branches and other rubble near Washington, Illinois, on Sunday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • More than 60 tornadoes ravaged parts of the Midwest, including Illinois and Indiana
  • Many people have lost their homes right before Thanksgiving
  • Aid organizations have mobilized to help the needy in the storm's wake

(CNN) -- Sunday's outbreak of severe weather spawned more than 60 tornadoes and caused damage in several Midwestern states, including Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. There were several fatalities and as many as 200 people were injured statewide.

Some of the hardest-hit communities are Washington and Peoria, Illinois, and Kokomo, Indiana. The destruction was widespread, leaving many with little the week before Thanksgiving. The people in these communities will need our help for some time to come.

Several organizations are already on the ground, and you can help with their efforts:

Red Cross

As is often the case, the Red Cross is one of the first groups to arrive and provide aid to victims of such terrible storms. The Central Illinois chapter of the Red Cross has established a shelter in the Illinois town of Washington. It also has activated the Safe and Well website to help in finding loved ones who may still be missing.

Salvation Army

Before the storm was even at full strength, the Salvation Army had mobilized teams to areas that looked like they would need emergency food and shelter. These teams are dispersed across the region to offer nourishment, shelter and guidance to the needy. The Salvation Army has established a way to give immediately; you can contribute by texting STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation.

Team Rubicon

Team Rubicon is a group of veterans who come together after disasters to provide immediate relief and aid to rescue and recovery workers. It has already sent people to help clear debris in Washington, where many of the injuries occurred.

Operation Blessing

The humanitarian organization vows to help even if it doesn't deploy a full disaster response team. Jody Herrington-Gettys, director of domestic disaster relief for Operation Blessing, has pledged support to the region, saying it will partner with local churches and other groups and assist in aid efforts through grants and donations.

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