By Judy Pack

Killeen Daily Herald

As the devastation from Hurricane Katrina continues to unfurl, local residents may feel helpless as they stay glued to their televisions for updates on the deadly former Category 4 storm.

Visions of flooded streets, downed power lines and storm victims camped out in shelters make for tough images as emergency response teams prepare the worst. For now, financial aid is the best way to help.

As soon as the government gives us permission, we have two canteens from Texas ready to go in, Mary Tolcher of the Salvation Army in Killeen said of the relief effort. They are stocked with food and manned with a team of people.

The team includes a group from Temple, she said, who left at 6 a.m. Monday. The Salvation Army is sending personnel from the entire state, Tolcher said, who will provide storm victims with food and basic needs. All units are currently on a stand-by status.

Financial donations to the disaster relief effort can be dropped off at the local Salvation Army office, she said. The money will be forwarded by them to the Gulf Coast relief fund located in Dallas.

We do it all the time, she said of donations made in person at the office.

The local chapter of the American Red Cross has also sent volunteers to the Gulf area. Catherine Baker, branch manager, said the Killeen group left on Saturday and took two emergency response vehicles. Because of the dire situation in the area, financial contributions will allow organizations to determine and access whatever local storm victims in various areas need, should it be shelter, bedding or medical attention, she said.

We do want to alert people that we are taking no food goods donations, she emphasized.

Ten people have also signed up to volunteer to be part of the relief effort, Baker said.

Anyone interested in participating must complete an application and go through a training session which includes CPR training.

We will provide a cash receipt for each donation, she added. Checks should be marked Katrina.

The local American Red Cross office is located at 208 W. Avenue A, Killeen, TX 76541. Checks should be made payable to American Red Cross and marked Katrina.

The local Salvation Army office is located at 501 N. Second St. in Killeen. Donations may be mailed to P.O. Box 4330, Killeen, TX 76540. Checks should be made payable to: The Salvation Army and marked Disaster Relief.

Payments can also be made on-line at

Contact Judy Pack at

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