5 Ways to Help Tornado Victims in the South and Midwest

Mayfield, Kentucky, in the aftermath of one of the tornadoes.
Mayfield, Kentucky, in the aftermath of one of the tornadoes. / Scott Olson/Getty Images

Over the weekend, powerful storms generated roughly 50 reported tornadoes that tore across the South and Midwest. Kentucky was hit the hardest: As of this morning, December 13, there were 64 confirmed deaths in the state, and an as-yet-untold number of buildings were crushed—leaving many locals without shelter. Other states also experienced severe structural damage and widespread power outages, including Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee.

As state governments and federal agencies work to assess the devastation and facilitate both short- and long-term relief efforts, charitable organizations are doing all they can to administer aid, too. Here are five places to direct your donations.

1. Feeding America

The Kentucky’s Heartland branch of Feeding America is putting together “ready-to-eat bags of food” and distributing them throughout 10 counties in Kentucky. You can donate to the cause here—just choose “Tornado Relief Fund” from the “Select a Designation” dropdown menu.

2. GoFundMe

GoFundMe has a landing page with verified, tornado-related fundraisers grouped by state, as well as a section for “general relief.” Some are hosted by community members organizing relief efforts on the ground—like a group of Louisville food truck owners delivering hot meals around Mayfield, Kentucky—while others are requests for assistance by victims’ families or victims themselves.

3. International Medical Corps

International Medical Corps has been responding to emergencies of all kinds in all places since its foundation in 1984. Right now, the organization is working to shelter victims and issue “generators, medical supplies and equipment, and hygiene items” across Kentucky. You can donate to those efforts here.

4. Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has deployed Emergency Disaster Services units to fulfill victims’ basic needs in the destruction zones. You can support this initiative by contributing to one of two disaster relief funds: one for Illinois and Missouri; and one for Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee. You can choose between the two beneath “What would you like your donation to support?” on the donation page.


In addition to providing food and water, CARE is also giving out cash vouchers to Kentucky families affected by the tornadoes. Donate here.