Deadly Tornadoes Strike Middle Tennessee Communities Overnight: Here's How You Can Help

East Nashville took a direct hit from one tornado and it's time to lend a helping hand to our neighbors in need.

Deadly storms tore through middle Tennessee last night leaving over a dozen people dead, many injured, and a great number of homes and businesses destroyed. Reports as of Tuesday morning indicate that the death toll was 22 including in Nashville and across middle Tennessee. Several communities were impacted by these treacherous storms and tornadoes including East Nashville, downtown Nashville, but also communities beyond the city limits in Benton, Davidson, Putnam, and Wilson counties as well. In a press conference Tuesday morning, Nashville's mayor, John Cooper said "Last night was a reminder about how fragile life is." On social media he is encouraging those who can, to lend a helping hand.

If you would like to contribute to the efforts to help effected areas or if you want to roll up your sleeves and volunteer, we have some options for you:

Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has activated the Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund. Donating to this fund will then result in grants to several non-profits "providing vital services both immediate and long term," as stated on the website. This organization has united efforts of local organizations and government officials to allow them to collaborate in the most effective way to help people impacted by natural disaster. Help by clicking here.

Hands on Nashville

Hands On Nashville has mobilized and is working with Nashville city officials and the Office of Emergency Management. This group's focus will be on organizing volunteers for clean-up missions once they begin. You can learn more about how to volunteer here.

Community Resource Center Nashville

The CRC will be collecting items to aid in the clean-up including gloves, trash bags, box cutters, bleach, and personal hygiene items. To learn more on how to contribute or donate items, check here.

Nashville Humane Association

The Nashville Humane Association will donate supplies and resources to displaced families with pets after last night's storms. Supplies include crates, blankets, leashes, collars, and other basic pet needs. For information you can call the Nashville Humane Association at (615) 352-1010 and you can donate to help these efforts here.

American Red Cross of Tennessee

The Red Cross has set up shelters in several areas including:

Nashville – Centennial Sports Plex, 222 25th. Ave N

Nashville – East High School, 110 Gallatin Ave.

Mt. Juliet – Victory Baptist Church, 1777 Tate Ln.

Lebanon – Highland Heights Church of Christ, 505 N. Cumberland St.

Cookeville – First Baptist, 18 South Walnut Ave.

They are not taking item donations at this time but if you wish to contribute financially, this helps them provide folks with what they need at these shelters. You can learn more here.

The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties

Per a statement on their website, the United Way has set up a donation fund and "100% of funds received will support relief efforts for our friends affected throughout Middle Tennessee. In addition, we will work with neighboring United Ways and the local American Red Cross to determine the best appropriation of funds." Donate here.

The Salvation Army Nashville Area Command

The Salvation Army is usually one of the first groups to arrive on scene after a natural disaster to provide food, shelter, water, and counsel. Per their Twitter account, they are "Currently evaluating the areas hit and prepared to respond." Donate to these efforts here.

Music City Inc. Foundation

This organization is the charitable arm of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp and their president, Butch Spyridon, released a statement saying that they will be collecting donations through the Music City Inc. Foundation that "will be immediately distributed directly to families significantly impacted." You can donate via Venmo or PayPal and you can find more information here. He also wants everyone to know that Nashville is open for business. The show will go on with the Opry and the Ryman operating as usual.

Mercy Chefs

The Mercy Chefs team has arrived in Nashville and they will be serving food to all in need of a hot meal from their home base at Murrell School, located at 322 Cleveland Street. They will distribute food to other locations as needed. Mercy Chefs arrive in the wake of natural disasters to provide nourishing, hearty meals, as a vehicle to let our neighbors know that they are not alone. As founder Chef Gary LeBlanc often says, "Amazing things happen over a shared plate of food." To help their efforts, donate here.

Operation BBQ Relief

Stan Hays and his pack of BBQ pit masters have deployed to Nashville as well. "We monitored the tornado in Nashville and immediately called our leadership team together to begin plans for deployment. We have always had a passion and love for the craft of BBQ, but it's not just about food. It's about what a meal can do for people in their time of need. BBQ is comfort food that provides hope and compassion during the most difficult time," Stan Hays, Co-Founder and CEO, Operation BBQ Relief said in a press release. They are calling for both donations and volunteers. Read the full statement here.

Our hearts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones last night and all who are now faced with picking up the pieces of a destroyed home.

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