Bryan Terry / THE OKLAHOMAN
Jerry Dirks, at right, hugs her friend Earlene Langley after a tornado hit Dirks' home just south of Carney Okla., on Sunday, May 19, 2013. Dirks was in her cellar at the time the tornado hit.
By Suzanne Choney, Contributing Writer, NBC News
The loss of life and stunning devastation in Oklahoma City suburbs after a monster tornado ripped through the area are heart-wrenching. But within hours, relief organizations were getting out the message on how to help.
American Red Cross
The Red Cross has set up shelters in various communities. You can donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund here, and the organization also suggests giving blood at your local hospital or blood bank.
This organization says donations will "go straight to help those in need providing tree removal services, laundry services and meals to victims of disasters."
It is requesting monetary donations (It says clothing is NOT needed). For more information, and to donate, visit Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief's website.
You can send checks to: BGCO, Attn: Disaster Relief, 3800 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City, OK., 73112.
The Salvation Army is organizing disaster response units to serve hard-hit areas in central Oklahoma, including Moore, where it is sending mobile kitchens that can serve meals to 2,500 people a day, and to South Oklahoma City.
Supporters can donate online via the organization's website, SalvationArmyUSA.org. You can also text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation via cellphone.
If you want to send a check, the Salvation Army asks that you put the words "Oklahoma Tornado Relief" on the check, and mail it to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK., 73157.
United Way of Central Oklahoma
A disaster relief fund is being activated as of May 21 so that individuals can specifically donated to tornado relief-and-recovery efforts, the organization says on its site.
"Financial contributions are the best way to help unless otherwise requested." Donations can be made online at
United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Disaster Relief Fund is open. Donations may be made online here. Checks, with a notation of "May Tornado Relief" can also be sent to the United Way of Central Oklahoma, P.O. Box 837, Oklahoma City, OK , 73101.
Through its network of more than 200 food banks, Feeding America, whose mission is to "feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks," says it will deliver truckloads of food, water and supplies to communities in need, in Oklahoma, and will also "set up additional emergency food and supply distribution sites as they are needed." You can donate onlinehere. Phone: 1-800-910-5524.
The international relief group, based in Los Angeles, says it is "readying essential material aid — emergency, shelter and cleaning supplies" to help Oklahoma's community health organizations and schools recover.
You can donate online here. You can also give a $10 donation by texting the word AID to 50555. Checks should be sent to: Operation USA, 7421 Beverly Blvd., PH, Los Angeles, CA 90036