'One stop shop' provides relief for tornado victims - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

'One stop shop' provides relief for tornado victims

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McMINN COUNTY, TN -

Eight days ago, deadly tornadoes ripped through the Channel 3 viewing area, destroying business and homes.

The National Weather Service confirmed six tornadoes in Tennessee and Alabama. Five people were killed from tornadoes in Polk county and in Jackson County, Alabama, two EF-1 tornadoes hit Coffee County, and an EF-2 tornado hit Marion and McMinn county.

But one community isn't letting the damage tear them down.

Many families are recovering and coping, but they aren't doing it alone. 

Members with the American Red Cross, United Way, Southeast Tennessee Human Resource Agency (SETHRA) are staffing a multi-agency resource center to provide assistance to those affected by the tornado, while also taking donations of goods, clothing, shoes, or food for relief efforts. 

They will also work to link volunteers with specific projects in storm-affected areas.

"These folks who have been displaced, a lot of them they only had the clothes on their back so they don't have to go to 10 different places to find out what they need. We can help them get what they need," volunteer, Mary Brown said. The Red Cross showed us how to do it they actually, they gave us the information that we needed."

Brown said several local businesses like Adient, are also helping out by paying its employees to lend a hand.

Coordinated Charities are helping making a huge impact by. One of their workers actually donated clothes from a thrift store he owns to add to the 3,00 square foot room of donations and resources.  

Brown said the love and support from the community has been overwhelming and appreciated. 

"What the most amazing thing I think to me is how many have come in here for the last few days whose homes were destroyed, and they came by and they brought extra items that someone had donated to them they didn't need that particular item they brought that for a different family." Brown said. "They've been standing folding clothes and sorting them to help other people. "

Families like the Rick and Teresa Shore, who are working to rebuild their home of six years off Highway 307. 

"We just found out about it and I was amazed to look in here and see all this," said Teresa said. "Puts a whole new a whole new perspective on what's important and who steps up to help people in times like this."

They said the agencies have been extremely helpful and have made the damage and loss bearable, as they and many others try to move forward.

READ MORE | McMinn Co. officials provide update on aftermath of Athens tornado 

"You don't realize how many friends you do have, how many friends you're gonna make until you get to something like this, and everybody just kind of steps up and steps forward," Rick said.  

The one stop shop will be open through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the American Bedding building, located at 276 Dennis Street, behind the Tennessee College of Applied Technology and next to Lowe's in Athens.

Donations will be accepted through the weekend. 

Monetary donations are being directed to the United Way of McMinn & Meigs Counties. They can be made by texting MCMINNSTORMS to 41444 to donate via mobile device. Checks can be mailed to United Way of McMinn & Meigs Counties, P.O. Box 1681, Athens, TN 37371-1681. Monetary donations can also be made at the United Way office, located at 313 Maple Street in Athens. For more information, contact United Way at 745-9606.

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