05/24/2011 at 12:40 PM EDT
With President Obama scheduled to cut short his European trip
and pay a visit Sunday to tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., a wide swath of Americans – on both a local and national level – are already rushing forward in the rescue and relief effort.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families that are suffering at this moment, and all we can do is let them know that all of America cares deeply about them and we are going to do absolutely everything we can to make sure they recover," the President said from London Tuesday.
Ripping through Joplin on May 22, the tornado is the nation's deadliest since 1953, claiming the lives of at least 116 people (authorities expect that number to climb) and injuring an estimated 500. The disaster follows last month's series of storms that battered and destroyed a large section of the South, in particular Alabama.
"We are here for you," said Obama. "The American people are by your side."
In fact, there a several quick, efficient and secure ways to join in the effort.
Text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross
, or donate, give blood or volunteer
by signing up online.
Text "JOPLIN" to 864833 to donate $10 to the Heart of Missouri United Way
, which has dispatched medical help to the affected areas of Kansas and Missouri. Volunteers are also welcome
by signing up either online or at 1-913-764-5200.
Text "CONVOY" to 50555 to donate $10 to the Convoy of Hope
, which is delivering disaster supplies to victims. Donations may also be made online
or by calling 1-417-823-8998.
Included among the other agencies abetting the effort and accepting donations are (click to connect to respective Web sites):
The Humane Society of Missouri