Assisting Gate City explosion victims, How you can help - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Assisting Gate City explosion victims, How you can help

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BIRMINGHAM, AL - Families who woke to the sounds of early pre-dawn blasts in the east Birmingham community of Gate City are trying to wrap their minds around the impact of the disaster all while pulling together to help fellow neighbors directly affected.

One man told Alabama's 13 he and his wife had to wake their children up and take them to their grandparents house. Some of the windows in their home broke. Right now they don't have some of the necessities that they need, so they won't be able to stay home.

By midday volunteers from numerous organizations, such as the Salvation Army, The Red Cross and Church of the Highlands Dream Team, poured into the housing community offering hot meals, water and coffee to those affected and the numerous emergency personnel working the scene.

"The Red Cross is called out to this explosion to help residents and to also help first responders and so certainly our jobs is to make sure that the immediate needs of residents are taken care of," said Chris Osborne, regional communications officer for the American Red Cross.

Trained Mental Heath counselors are also working with people impacted by the explosion.

Away from the disaster, help continues.

Local radio stations 95.7 JAMZ and 98.7 KISS FM along with the Redmont Hotel in downtown Birmingham are teaming up to offer assistance as well. The organizations are hosting a drive at the Roebuck Walmart store to collect items for those in need. The drive will be held at the Walmart located on 9248 Parkway East in Birmingham from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday and 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Wednesday.  Donations can also be dropped off at the Redmont Hotel located on 2101 5th Ave North. Items needed range from  non- perishable foods to personal hygiene items such as deodorant, toothpaste and lotion.

In addition to the drive, the Redmont Hotel is offering rooms for displaced explosion victims. The Birmingham Housing Authority is also working to house those forced out of their homes.

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