AKRON, Ohio — After the devastating tornado outbreak in the Dayton area, Northeast Ohio is looking for ways to help the victims.
The Salvation Army is collecting specific items of need and the American Red Cross is encouraging monetary donations.
One person was killed and more than 200 storm-related injuries were reported after tornadoes tore through several communities. Dozens of homes were destroyed.
Pam Williams, from Akron, is one of five local Red Cross disaster workers who were dispatched to help in the relief effort. She's volunteering at a shelter which had 131 people Monday night.
"We're seeing people that are really in shock," Williams said. "They're experiencing something that they never thought they would."
The Salvation Army office located at 190 South Maple Street in Akron will accept bottled water donations and toiletries such as shampoo, soap and toothbrushes. Diapers are also a priority.
Major Charles Deitrick said cash donations will also help pay for much-needed clean-up kits that contain brushes, brooms, and cleaning supplies.
"Remember that 100 percent of the items that are donated will go to the disaster, whether it's financial or whether it's a gift in-kind. It will go to the disaster area. None of it will be kept here," Deitrick said.
Jorge Martinez, the chief operating officer for a 22-county region of the American Red Cross, stressed that money is what's really needed to help the tornado victims.
He said the Red Cross is still assessing the needs of the communities affected and money will help people get exactly what they need.
"Imagine if you lost everything, including your medicines — things of that nature — prescription drugs. All those kind of things are things you don't typically think about when you see it on television, but it becomes very real when you're the one that's impacted," Martinez said.
Donations can be be made at redcross.org, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or by texting REDCROSS TO 90999. Martinez said to include the word "Dayton" when a donation is made to ensure the money is going specifically to the tornado victims.