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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

History repeats itself

Ways to help those affected by F-3 tornado in Nebraska
Carley Bailey
The effects of a natural disaster can take away a home where memories were made.

As tornado season comes around the corner, many states around the country are being severely affected and forced to go through life changes. There are many different ways to access help if you have been affected or ways to help if you weren’t affected. 

According to KETV, in Douglas County, 940 homes were damaged by the tornadoes that formed on April 24, 2024. 171 homes were destroyed, 229 homes were left with major damage and 157 homes were minorly damaged. During a time like this, people scramble for safety. After two Elkhorn South teachers’ homes were destroyed, a student set up a GoFundMe to raise money for them and ended up pooling around $89,000, over eight times the goal. If you know someone who is in need of help, starting a GoFundMe is an easier way to raise money and can relieve stress from someone knowing that people are trying to help.

The severity of this disaster has caused volunteer communities and religious centers to quickly convert to shelters for victims and donation areas. Omaha Rapid Response, a non-profit organization of churches was created in early 2000 to help respond to natural disasters. Right now, they have temporary services available in Elkhorn, providing volunteer opportunities, such as clean-up and areas to make donations. You have to be a minimum of 12 years old to volunteer. 

The Relevant Community Church located by Old Town Elkhorn is currently offering information about sites to help victims such as places where you can donate supplies for humans and animals, get your tires fixed, get tetanus shots, learn about government assistance, talk with a trauma navigator and deal with insurance and finding housing. 

Workers at Home Depot have come together to help discard what is left of people’s homes, such as trees, rubble, wood, etc. Although cleanup has slowed down, Home Depot has created a big impact on residents’ lives, donating over $20,000 in cleaning equipment. Free laundry is available to anyone who needs it at the Walmart on 168th and West Maple. People who have lost their homes due to this tragedy have said that this small act has made such a difference for them because it is one less thing to worry about and it helps them not have to think about the possibility of mold growing on their clothes. It is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.. every day until they run out of supplies. You can bring up to two loads a day. 

Heartland Hope Mission is another organization you can donate to and volunteer at. You can work in the food pantry and help the community. They also hold food drives to help Nebraskans who do not have access to food. Currently, they are coordinating to support families who have been hit hard by the tornadoes. They are offering more assistance with basic necessities like toilet paper, baby formula and hygiene. They are also taking donations of kids’ toys to help comfort them during this time. A $35 donation can provide someone with food and resources. 

Even if you weren’t affected by this, it is still important to know ways to help others around you. Bad weather may happen often but it doesn’t mean its effects should be overlooked.

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About the Contributors
Sophia Eljamal
Sophia Eljamal, Staff Reporter
Sophia is a junior at Millard West and this is her first year on the staff for the CATalyst. She likes traveling around the world and running. Over the summer, she traveled to numerous countries in Europe. In her free time, she enjoys going shopping, hanging out with her friends, and listening to music. She also loves to work and watch her favorite shows and movies on Netflix. Sophia looks forward to writing stories about sports and working with her classmates to produce interesting stories.
Carley Bailey
Carley Bailey, Staff Reporter
Carley is a senior starting up her third year on the Millard West CATalyst staff. She enjoys drawing, painting, writing, and listening to all sorts of music in her free time, when she’s not spending time with her close friends. This school year, she’s looking forward to writing plenty of entertainment and opinion pieces and hopes to return to State Journalism for the second year in a row.

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