LJWorld.com weblogs At Whit's End

Resources for helping victims of Joplin, Reading tornadoes, first-person video of the Joplin storm and the weekend's top stories on LJWorld.com


Our region has had a disastrous weekend. Many of us were either personally affected or know someone who was affected by the tornadoes that have devastated Reading, Kan. and Joplin, Mo.

If you'd like to offer assistance, I'm compiling a list of resources in this post. If you know of something I missed, please leave it in the comments or shoot me an email at wmathews@ljworld.com. I'm also collecting resources from Twitter @whitneymathews or @LJWorld.

Remember you can check for registrants or register yourself and your family at the American Red Cross Safe and Well website.

Lawrence/Douglas County

  • The Douglas County Red Cross chapter is accepting monetary donations
  • Lawrence Habitat for Humanity is collecting these items, which their Joplin chapter specifically requested.
  • Amber Lee from 92.9 The Bull collecting some items to take down to Joplin. Here is a list of what they're collecting. You can drop items off at the radio station, 3125 W. Sixth Street, before Thursday, May 26. Donations leave from the Zarco station at 1500 E. 23rd Street Thursday.

Kansas City Metro



  • www.ksready.gov — Citizens are being asked to make monetary donations through this website.
  • Reading Tornado May 21, 2011 - Post things you know here — Facebook group connecting those looking for or offering assistance
  • Lyon County Extension Office — To volunteer in person, please register at this office at 2632 W. U.S. Highway 50 in Emporia or call (620) 341-3220 before sending any donations.

I also wanted to share this terrifying YouTube video taken during the Joplin tornado that I found via Nate Bukaty on Twitter. It's difficult to watch, but it will give you an incredible first-hand account of what it's like to be in a tornado. Here is the description:

"The video i took while at Fastrip on east 20th street. We huddled in the back of the store until the glass got sucked out , then ran into the walk in storage fridge. Sorry for the lack of visuals but the audio is pretty telling of how intense the storm was. The tornado hits at around 1:20 seconds."

Weather was also the top story in Lawrence this weekend, as the city narrowly avoided two tornadoes Saturday night. Here are the most-viewed stories on LJWorld.com from Friday, May 20 to Sunday, May 22 and the most-commented items in the past 24 hours.

Most-viewed stories

  1. All severe weather watches, warnings for Douglas County allowed to expire
  2. Armed disturbance downtown early Saturday ends with Taser, arrest
  3. One killed, 20 homes destroyed as tornado tears through Reading northeast of Emporia
  4. Lawrence man finds debris from Reading tornado in backyard
  5. Tornado in Reading causes major damage

Most-commented items in the past 24 hours

  1. LTE: Support Israel
  2. LTE: Koch shares economic philosophy
  3. Are You A Libertarian Zombie?
  4. OTS: How many text messages do you send in an average day?
  5. OTS: What was the last song you had stuck in your head?


doggymom 7 years ago

Is there somewhere in Lawrence that someone with O- blood can go to donate for Joplin area needs?

wmathews 7 years ago

Haven't heard of a Lawrence blood drive yet. We added some resources for donating to Douglas County Red Cross. Keep checking back, since I'm sure I'll hear about more ways to help throughout the day.

Diana Lee 7 years ago

This is great, Whitney. Thanks for compiling this information.

Val Walthall 7 years ago

Accorcing to their FB page, Johnny's Tavern West is having a blood drive.

wmathews 7 years ago

Looks like are not having a blood drive, but they are offering free dessert to anyone who donates in the KC blood drive: http://www.facebook.com/JohnnysTavern...

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