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University of Iowa News Release


May 29, 2008

Updated Monday, June 2, 2008 2:02 PM

UI offers guidance on providing support for Parkersburg tornado victims

University of Iowa faculty, staff and students eager to help victims of the powerful tornado that tore through Parkersburg in Butler County, Iowa Sunday night, have several options.

The tornado, with winds of up to 205 mph, destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses and has been blamed for the deaths of seven people. On Tuesday Butler County was declared a federal disaster area.

"The University of Iowa community has shown its empathy and generosity in its desire to help those in Parkersburg and the surrounding area whose lives have been seriously affected by the devastating tornadoes of Sunday night," UI Spokesman Steve Parrott said in an email message to the campus Thursday afternoon.

He provided a number of suggestions for how the campus community can help:

• Cash contributions can be directed to the Red Cross or the Salvation Army. Please specify that your donation is for “Iowa Tornado Relief.”

--Red Cross: You can mail checks to the Hawkeye Chapter of the American Red Cross, PO Box 1680, Waterloo, IA 50704. You may also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to, click on “donate” and then choose the option for “Your Local Red Cross Chapter.” By entering your zip code, your donation will be directed to the local Red Cross chapter. Representatives from the Grant Wood Red Cross in Cedar Rapids report that donations made in the aftermath of the tornado will be re-directed to the Hawkeye Chapter.

--The Salvation Army: Checks can be mailed to the Salvation Army, PO Box 867, Waterloo, IA 50704. You may also call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or go to and click on “donate now.” There is a box on the donor information page in which you can indicate a “specific use.” Use that box to indicate “Iowa Tornado Relief.”

--Volunteers: Those interested in volunteering should call the Iowa Concern Hotline at 800-447-1985.

• No clothing, food or bottled water donations are needed at this time, according to the Butler County Emergency Operations Center.

"We will stay in contact with those directing relief efforts to make sure they are aware that the university community remains ready to help in other ways should a request or need become apparent," Parrott said. "If and when that happens, we will alert you."

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott,, phone 319-335-0552, cell 319-530-6972