Emporia State students help clean up town devastated by tornado

October 14, 2011

Nearly 50 Emporia State University students spent a day in Reading, Kan., helping residents recovering from a devastating tornado.

Day of CaringThe student involvement was part of the Day of Caring sponsored by the United Way of the Flint Hills, based in Emporia. The student involvement was coordinated by Community Hornets, an ESU recognized student organization that organizes and shares information about volunteer opportunities.

Much of the work involved raking grassy areas to find pieces of debris. Shards of glass are still in many lawns. A portable magnet on wheels also was rolled over areas to collect metal debris like nails, screws and hinges.

The town of Reading, about 20 miles northeast of the Emporia State campus, was hit by an EF3 tornado on May 21. The storm killed one man, destroyed about half of the town’s 100 homes, destroyed two-thirds of the businesses and damaged the elementary school.

Just four days after the tornado, the United Way of the Flint Hills created the United Way Tornado Relief Fund to collect monetary donations and distribute them back into the community. Donations are still being accepted, with 100 percent going to the relief effort. Checks payable to United Way Tornado Relief may be mailed to United Way of the Flint Hills, 702 Commercial St., Suite 2E, Emporia KS 66801.

The Day of Caring is an annual event sponsored by the United Way in which volunteers are matched with organizations that need assistance repairing, maintaining and beautifying their facilities.

For more information about Reading and relief efforts, see http://rdginfocntr.blogspot.com/

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