Central Texas community rallies to help tornado victims; resource center opens in Round Rock

Just across the street from the Kalahari Resort, which was damaged by Monday’s tornado, the Dell Diamond sits untouched. 

Now, the stadium’s United Heritage Center is serving as a place for those who were affected.

"I just flew back from Kentucky and that tornado disaster, so we’ve been pretty busy," said Daniel Geraci, executive director of the Austin Disaster Relief Network, a network of close to 200 local churches as well as volunteers.

ADRN is partnering with the Red Cross and Catholic Charities of Central Texas for a multi-agency resource center. 

"We basically are going to cover A to Z…from rebuilding to long-term recovery," said Geraci.

Starting Wednesday, they will open their doors to the Round Rock community. They have supplies on hand and can connect people to other resources based on need. They are also building teams of volunteers to tarp roofs and muck homes.

They’ve already gotten some help from volunteers like Jessica Mosman and Scott Engle.

"We gathered all of our networks together and started a supply drive here in the parking lot right here," said Mosman.

Before plans changed, Engle was supposed to have been eating at Taco Palenque, right when the tornado hit that shopping center. Both Engle and Mosman also live in Round Rock.

"It very well could’ve been my home," said Mosman. 

Across town at Cedar Ridge High School, Principal Jiae Kim-Batra was joined by volunteers hard at work Tuesday afternoon.

After Monday's tornado, she sent out a form for families to fill out stating their needs. Along with working to meet the specific needs of individual families, like transportation to school, she decided to move forward with a donation drive.

Within 24 hours, the school’s lecture room was full of clothes, household supplies and food for anyone in the community.

"We’re here to help and support," said Kim-Batra.

The CRHS lecture room will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, and Friday, March 25. 

Donations still being accepted include: cleaning supplies, toiletries, diapers & wipes, formulas, bread, non-perishable food, water and blankets.

The Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) will be open on the following dates:

  • Thursday, March 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Residents who need help can request assistance through the ADRN Disaster Survivor Hotline at 512-806-0800. Volunteers stand by to answer the hotline Monday through Friday, 9 am – 6 pm. The hotline will also operate on special hours this Saturday from 9 am – 6 pm.

To volunteer with ADRN to clean up damaged homes or build care kits, click here.

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