Volunteers needed to cleanup tornado damage in Wadena, surrounding area
From Mark Peterson, president and CEO of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
On June 17, what appears to be an unprecedented number of tornadoes in Minnesota touched down in many regions of our state, causing three deaths, hundreds of injuries, and wide scale damage. Our hearts go out to these families and communities.
While assessments are still underway, reports indicate that hundreds of homes, along with churches, schools and businesses, have had extensive damage with some structures completely destroyed in Wadena, Freeborn, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Faribault, Winona, and Steele counties. Wadena was among the areas hardest hit by this devastation.
Lutheran Social Service, with help from Lutheran Disaster Response, is on the ground in Wadena right now registering, equipping, and sending volunteers into neighborhoods to help families.
Volunteers are needed this week, Wednesday through Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. to help families remove debris, rake yards, chainsaw trees, and assist with general cleanup efforts.
Volunteers should pre-register by calling 211 from a landline or 800.543.7709 from a cell phone. Groups larger than 15 are required to pre-register by calling 211. No volunteers will be needed on Sunday, June 27.
What to wear
Volunteers should wear work clothes and sturdy gloves and bring shovels, rakes, and brooms. They meet in Wadena at the Pamida Parking Lot, 801 Jefferson St. North, located a half mile north of highways U.S. 71 and U.S.10.
Other ways to help
We know from many years of experience that volunteers not only provide valuable physical help, but they also offer families great comfort by simply showing up and letting them know that they are not alone in this disaster.
We also know that recovery takes a very long time. Families will need lots of support to rebuild their homes and lives in the months to come. If you can help with a financial contribution to our recovery work, your generosity is so much appreciated. You can give online at www.lssmn.org or send your contribution to Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, 2485 Como Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108, memo: Minnesota Tornadoes.
We watch out for our neighbors in times like this. On behalf of the families we will serve, thank you for all you can do to help our neighbors now. Please visit www.lssmn.org/tornado for updates on relief efforts.
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