CWS Emergency Appeal: 2013 U.S. Tornadoes

May 21, 2013

Appeal # 627-Y
Initial CWS Appeal Goal: $55,000


Emergency responders are still in “search-and-rescue” mode, trying to find survivors of a devastating tornado that destroyed large areas of the Oklahoma City area on Monday (May 20). The community of Moore, Okla., was particularly hard-hit.

It was still not clear how many people died in the devastation, with numbers fluctuating in the last 24 hours. However, it is likely that dozens had perished, officials said. Twenty-four were confirmed dead this morning. President Obama declared a federal disaster in five Oklahoma counties.

CWS Response:

CWS Disaster Response specialists are gathering assessment information and making contact with partners in affected areas. It will be some days before exact needs can be determined.

The lead CWS emergency response specialist for this appeal is Sandra Kennedy-Owes,, 251-725-4262.

In the U.S., CWS is not an early response agency and our focus is on long-term recovery efforts.  As such, our only likely early response component will be the provision of CWS material resources, such as CWS Kits and/or CWS Blankets, upon request from local partners and churches. At this point, it is expected CWS will process five material shipments, with the estimated processing and freight costs at $30,000. Initial long-term recovery group training and support is expected to be $25,000.

Please note: This is an initial appeal; an expanded and revised appeal with additional information will be forthcoming. This appeal is being issued only for initial projected costs.

Budget goal at this point is $55,000: $30,000 for material shipments; $25,000 for initial long-term recovery group training and support.

How to Help

Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be sent to your denomination/communion or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. (REF: 2013 Tornadoes, Appeal #627-Y.) Donations may also be made online.

CONCERNING CWS EMERGENCY CLEANUP BUCKETS AND OTHER KITS:  CWS thanks its member communions for the efforts to help restock our warehouses with material goods, such as CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets, CWS Hygiene Kits, Baby Care Kits and School Kits. Many people in need will benefit from these resources. All efforts to replenish our supplies for future emergencies are, as always, greatly appreciated.

During disasters such as this, now is the time to remember that the most important humanitarian donation that an individual can make is cash. Used clothing and other materials do little to restore the dignity of survivors.

CWS is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.