Independence organization takes donations for storm victims - KCTV5 News

Independence organization takes donations for storm victims

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(Jessica Reyes /KCTV) (Jessica Reyes /KCTV)

They're 20 miles away from Oak Grove, but the Community Services League in Independence is leading donation efforts to help the tornado victims.

Thursday is day three of the donation drive at CSL. They typically only collect clothes and food, but storm victims are needing much more than just that.

Stanley Smith, who donated, said, "Here in a couple of weeks, are people still going to need help? So, you know what, we're going to stay consistent and try to see it through."

"The disaster relief process is not a sprint,” said Doug Cowan, CSL president. “It really is a marathon.”

And so far, they're off to a good start. Boxes of goods have been filled, shelves of food are getting stacked, and they've even had to put up signs outside just to direct people where to drop off their donations.

"They've dropped everything,” said Cowan. “They've said, ‘What can I do?’ They've offered to go into the community. ‘Can I clean up? Can I sort donations? What can I do to help?’"

“The tornado is gone, but the people are going to be having devastation for quite a long time,” said donor Chaquette Lopez. 

The storm hits close to home for the organization; CSL has had an office in Oak Grove for decades

"Three of our members, including our primary case manager who runs our Oak Grove office, have their homes totaled or partially destroyed,” Cowan said.

The goal is to fill up the truck repeatedly with donations and take it to Oak Grove to give to those in need.

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