The people of Alabama are coming together after a tornado outbreak destroyed homes and killed multiple people on Thursday, January 12.

A destructive tornado didn’t stop parishioners at Crosspoint Christian Church on Sunday from gathering and giving thanks. Rev. David Nichols said 70 children and teachers were inside the church, huddling in a bathroom when their classrooms collapsed.

“Nothing but by the grace of God that they walked out of there,” Nichols said.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham confirmed the tornado there was an EF-2.

In Autauga County, seven people were killed when an EF-3 tornado that tracked over 76 miles plowed through five counties.

Now, people from all over the state are giving back with donations.

The city of Birmingham and the Christian Service Mission are collecting items for survivors in Selma. Donations can be dropped off at Boutwell Auditorium from January 17 through January 19, from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.

“The people of Selma are in the early stages of recovery after Thursday’s tornado left a path of destruction. We want them to know they are not alone and Birmingham cares,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said.

Weil Wrecker Service in Birmingham will transport the items to Selma after the drive. Things they are asking for include bottled water, cleaning supplies, paper towels, coats and jackets, deodorant, Feminine hygiene products, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

For Autauga County, a donation drop-off spot has been designated in Elmore County. Items collected will go to people in Autauga, Coosa and Elmore Counties, an area impacted by multiple severe weather systems this month.

Those who want to help can drop off items from January 16 for the next several weeks at Phoenix Wetumpka Industrial Investigators at 3145 Elmore Road, in Wetumpka. Donations will be accepted from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day. Items needed for the drive are socks, shirts, underwear, towels, washcloths, sheets and blankets, pillows and pillowcases, hairbrushes and combs, feminine hygiene items, soap, diapers, wipes, cleaning supplies, trash bags and first aid kits, among other things. Used items will not be accepted.

There will be distribution points for pickup in the Lightwood and Titus communities in Elmore County.

Hatching Hope, in Pelham, is collecting items at the Marketplace by Hatching Hope on Pelham Parkway. Those items will go to Selma, Kingston, Marbury and other areas impacted by the storms. Hatching Hope is also collecting monetary donations.

The Black Belt Community Foundation is partnering with the City of Selma to accept and distribute monetary donations. Click here for more information.

The Central Alabama Community Foundation has set up a fund for those affected in Elmore County. You can give to the Elmore County Disaster Relief Fund by clicking here.

You can also donate to United Way of Selma and Dallas County by texting “SELMA” to 62644 or by clicking here.

There are other ways to help if you do not have items to donate. Alabama Search and Rescue is recruiting reserve members. The organization is looking for those with a military, fire or law enforcement background. You can apply for a spot or donate online.

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