The Route 66 Chamber of Commerce has launched a Route 66 Cares page on Facebook and is collecting donations to help the tornado-wracked towns of Quapaw, Oklahoma, and Baxter Springs, Kansas, recover in the wake of this week’s storms.
The PayPal email address is visit66(at)yahoo(dot)com. Donations also can be mailed to: Route 66 Cares, c/o Baxter Springs Chamber of Commerce, 1004 Military Avenue, Baxter Springs, KS. 66713.
Ron Hart, who runs the chamber of commerce, also told me this via email:
I learned from Baxter Mayor Randall Trease that FEMA will not likely provide recovery funds, as the total loss may not meet their criteria, which means that every penny raised will be needed to get the town back in shape. According to published stats, 160 homes were totally destroyed and many others will need extensive repairs. A total of 12 businesses, most on 66, were also destroyed … not to mention the losses in Quapaw. Look at the photos and you will see that these homes were just as destroyed as the ones in Joplin, just not in the large numbers.
In the meantime, if those in the Route 66 community wish to send a token donation, I will be happy to see that every penny counts.
The effort was inspired by fundraising after the infamous 2011 Joplin tornado. About $2,500 eventually was raised at the time.
The Facebook page of Route 66 Cares also contains a lot of photos of the damage from Sunday’s tornado. Despite the storm’s ferocity, there was only one confirmed death.