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Monetary donations, volunteers still needed in West

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 2:23pm

Since the explosion on last Wednesday wreaked havoc through the town of West, donations from across the country have been pouring in. And, while donation coordinators are happy to see that assistance, it's cash that they say is more beneficial now.

"They're still trying to pick up the pieces, and they still need help," said Volunteer Donation Coordinator Cassey Rodriguez at Best Western Czech Inn.

Dozens of disaster essentials line the shelves in a room set-up to be a "one-stop" shop for West disaster victims at Czech Inn.

"From food, to linens, to toiletries, we have so much. We've been blessed with so many donations here," said Rodriguez.

And, while these items are necessary, it's money and gift cards that organizations are looking for now, to give to victims and help to continue providing services.

"What they need is financial help. The Salvation Army certainly can't continue to feed and run our canteens without the support," said Major Dan Ford of the Salvation Army in Waco.

A Disaster Relief Area, just off the highway, has been set up to help residents start picking up the pieces.

"We're providing Wal-Mart cards, that will help people in the temporary future. And, then we're trying to assess what future needs they may have," said Ford.

Since the disaster, Czech Inn has housed dozens of victims and provided up to nine-hundred meals per day. Meanwhile, the Salvation Army says they've fed up to 15-hundred a day, and they're not planning to stop anytime soon.

"This is our community. We'll be serving the residents, you know. As long as they need our help, we'll be here providing services," said Ford.

For those still looking to help, volunteers and cash are the best ways to assist at this point.

"We don't know when these people are going to get to go back into their homes. We're trying to make sure we're making it as comfortable as can be here," said Rodriguez.

Czech Inn has set up a Facebook page,\WestTXCzechInn,  where you can sign up to volunteer to bring a hot meal or help where it's needed. They would like to have five volunteers on site at any given time. The Salvation Army and other organizations are looking for additional helpers as well.




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