The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

May 21, 2013

State, local officials weigh-in on Oklahoma tragedy


Local help

Jennifer Pitts Adair was living in the Camden Court subdivision in East Limestone when her home was destroyed by a tornado on April 27, 2011. Alone in the house, she survived by laying on the floor of a bathroom closet.

She chronicled her experience in a book, “Sheltered by God,” which was published last year.

After watching coverage of Monday’s tornadoes in Oklahoma, she was moved to help the victims.

“I started crying when I saw the elementary school and all those people walking around lost,” she said. “It was really hard to see.”

After learning about Auburn-based relief group Toomers for Tuscaloosa collecting gift cards for Oklahoma victims, Adair decided to do the same at the local level.

She launched a Facebook page, Gift Cards for Moore, Oklahoma, and is now inviting residents who want to help victims of the disaster to donate pre-paid gift cards. The cards can be dropped off at the Athens Police Department, and Adair will be at the department on Saturday to collect them.

The cards will be sent to Journey Church in Norman, Okla., where a shelter has been established.

Examples of types of gift cards include Walmart, Target or pre-paid Visa or American Express gift cards in any amount. Those who want to donate, but don’t have the resources to purchase a gift card, can also donate money. Adair said the collected funds will be used to purchase gift cards.

“Any amount is fine; there’s nothing too small or large,” she said.

Adair’s goal amount is $4,027, which is numerically the date of the tornado that nearly claimed her life.

“That was the day I got a second chance at life,” she said.

Other resources

• The American Red Cross: Donations can be made at or by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

• Salvation Army: To donate $10 to the Salvation Army, text 80888 or visit

• Donations can also be made locally to:

The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK 73157. Designate Oklahoma Tornado Relief on all checks. Donations can also be made by phone by calling 800-725-2769.

• Feed the Children: If you would like to make a cash donation, call 800-627-4556 or go online to

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