May 28, 2013
Starting Wednesday, May 29 we are no longer accepting donated clothes. National reports indicate the Moore, Okla., area has been overwhelmed with donations and groups in the area have posted signs, "Please, no more clothes." We will continue to take water, non-perishable food items and toiletries.
UPDATE: Lobo nation has responded and now we are in need of volunteers to help sort and pack donated items at Lobo Softball Field. Any amount of time helps! Come to Lobo Softball Field, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Loading will begin on Thursday around 5 p.m.
What: Lobo Softball, the Lobo Athletics Department and the University began accepting donations for victims of the May 20 tornado that struck central Oklahoma last week and are now preparing to transport those goods
Where: The Lobo Softball Field (south of The Pit - accessed via Sunshine Terrace SE off University Blvd.)
When: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., May 28-30
Volunteers are needed!: Any amount of time donated is appreciated. Volunteers will be sorting, organizing and boxing items.
Monetary donations: Click here
Contact information: Chelsea Einerwold, 218-296-2845
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- It's been less than a week since University of New Mexico softball head coach Erica Beach put out a call to the Albuquerque community to help the victims of the tornado that struck central Oklahoma on May 20 and Lobo nation's response has been incredible.
Donations began pouring in last Wednesday and filled the softball team's locker room before expanding to the Lobo indoor hitting facility.
"We knew four hours after starting (last Wednesday) that we were in for a surprise," Beach said. "Once word got out about what we're doing, the entire community, not just of Albuquerque--but all of New Mexico, has come out to show support. People are giving anything they can. We're getting a mix of everything -- clothing, water, baby supplies and pet supplies.
"It's been an incredible turnout from the people of New Mexico. I think we have a donation coming yet from a group in Farmington, but I know people from Truth or Consequences, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Gallup, Cedar Crest, Edgewood, Santa Rosa...people who have driven hours to drop off a car full."
Donations have come in in a number of ways from a truck filled with a variety of clothing and other household items to just a single grocery bag of toiletries or a case of water.
Beach along with former Lobo football player Derek Watson and softball assistant coach Lyndsey Angus felt compelled to do something following the tornado that struck Moore, Okla., last week. The trio, along with a handful of volunteers, has since spent several hours at the softball facility -- accepting, sorting, boxing and organizing donations in preparation for transportation and delivery to the Oklahoma City suburb set to happen this weekend.
"It's been touching and humbling to see people come forward and offer to help in any way they can," Beach said. "It's great to see people coming forward for a good cause."
The cases of water stacked in the hitting facility against the north wall three--in some spots four--deep and about four-and-a-half feet high have yet to be counted. The boxes and boxes of clothing and other household items also have yet to be quantified.
"We do know we have 240,000 packages of Ramen noodles," Beach said, referring to a donation that came in from Gallup. "I thought we already had a lot (of donations) on the first day and now I look at it and think, 'This is a wall of water!'"
The goods have been given and now the coaches are shifting their focus to sorting and boxing.
The most needed donation is not an item now, but time.
Volunteers are needed at Lobo Softball Field in preparation for Friday's departure. Organizing, sorting and boxing of goods is the main priority for Tuesday and Wednesday.
The loading and packing of the goods will begin on Thursday.
Those who are able are asked to come to the facility for any amount of time, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Loading will begin on Thursday around 5 p.m., and will require as many hands as possible.
"It's a huge undertaking," Beach said of preparing for transportation in three days. "It's been a handful of people up to this point, so the more people we can get out here, the quicker we can get it done and the less strain it is on everybody. I think it's going to be really fun. I want it to be a festive atmosphere. I want people to feel like they're really a part of this.
"We'll take any and all volunteers."
Beach is also directing people to www.gofundme.com/lobos4okc, a site for monetary donations for the Lobos4OKC donation drive that will fund transportation.
"We broke $1,000 on Sunday through the donations of about 23 people, which was huge," Beach said. "Hopefully we can get some more financial support to help us transport--that's the big thing. Fuel is going to be astronomical for three giant moving trucks. We're hoping to raise enough to get us there and back and the rest is going toward more water."
Beach, Watson and Angus will work with former Lobo football player Kyle Coulter to distribute the items. Coulter lives in Forest Park, Okla., about 14 miles northeast of Moore and is a volunteer firefighter with the Forest Park Fire Department.