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Helping the community of West, Texas, to recover
Wilson County NewsApril 24, 2013 | 985 views | 1 comment
The explosion April 17 that destroyed the West Fertilizer Co. plant and a substantial portion of the town of West, Texas, just north of Waco on I-35, not only rocked the community, but the nation.
In the wake of the terrorist bombings at the Boston Marathon two days earlier, the nation again came together to mourn and comfort the town of approximately 2,800. Many in Wilson County have ties to the largely Czech community, which many interstate travelers know for the famed Czech Stop, where good coffee and kolaches, along with hometown smiles, were served on a regular basis.
Stories of heroism and the kindness of strangers, along with townspeople opening their homes and hearts to each other, abound. The outpouring for the people of West continues, with many organizations and agencies offering help and support with food, commodities, medical supplies, household goods, and much more.
According to news reports, support has come from nearby Waco, which opened its schools to the displaced students of West, receiving special dispensation from the Texas Education Agency to waive some testing and other requirements in order to aid the students in need.
Firefighters and emergency personnel from far and wide continue to help sift through the damaged buildings, reuniting people with loved ones and pets, locating lost items, and more.
The need will continue to be great as the tiny town works to rebuild.
There are many ways to help. Some are listed above. As always in the wake of such tragedies, officials urge caution when donating, to avoid being scammed.
The IRS advises people to:
•Donate to qualified charities.
•Be wary of charities with similar names.
•Don’t give out personal information -- such as your bank information or Social Security number -- when donating.
•Don’t give or send cash.
•Report suspected fraud to local law enforcement or visit IRS.gov.
Ways to help
Many agencies, businesses, and organizations have mobilized efforts to assist the residents of West in the wake of the explosion last Wednesday evening.
Here are some:
•Donate online to: American Red Cross, Heart of Texas Chapter; Texas Disaster Relief Fund; and The Salvation Army.
•Donations to help survivors are being accepted at Pointwest Bank, 254-826-5333, and State National Bank of West, 254-826-3741.
•Lyssy & Eckel Feeds in Poth is accepting donations Saturday, April 27, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Poth Depot for delivery Monday. The main items requested are food, clothes, baby items, flashlights, water, blankets, and toiletries. Volunteers are needed to help load the trailer. If you can help for an hour, call Marie at 830-426-3351 or William at 830-484-3314.
•H-E-B has launched a checkstand donation campaign benefiting the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts. Customers can add donations in increments of $1, $3, or $5 to their grocery bills at the checkout.
•Donate through the Texas 4-H, 4-H members can log into their 4-H CONNECT accounts. From the home page, select the green “GIVE TO 4-H” button. On the donation page, select “West Fire Recovery Fund.” Funds collected through 4-H CONNECT will be directed to the Pointwest Bank in West.
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