Where and how to help tornado-struck communities

Posted at 11:55 PM, Feb 26, 2016

WAVERLY, Va. – The tiny town of Waverly is the place to be this weekend for those who want to help people affected by Wednesday’s tornadoes and severe weather.

On Friday morning, dozens of volunteers showed up with supplies and ready to work at Waverly’s relief headquarters, a former grocery store.

Officials said nearly 60 structures were damaged as an EF-1 tornado blew through the town, at speeds up to 110 mph, overturning cars and ripping homes from their foundations.

Volunteers will continue to meet at the Fresh Pride at 9 a.m. for the next few days.

Chaplain Joe Poe, the man coordinating cleanup efforts in Waverly, says more than 100 volunteers helped out Friday and anyone and everyone is welcome to clean up this weekend starting at 9 a.m.

Poe said he received 350 calls from people across the country wanting to come to Waverly to help. Groups from as far away as Texas and Ohio were planning trips to aid in relief efforts.

"It's humbling and overwhelming," Poe said. "At the same time, like I said yesterday, we didn't call anybody. Everybody called us looking to come to us and that speaks volumes."

Volunteers started their work on homes that weren’t destroyed and are still livable. About 20 airmen and women from Langley Air Force base also arrived in the area on their own accord.

The clean-up is expected to take weeks and even months.

“General cleanup just like you were going out and cleaning up your own yard problem is here there is a lot more stuff strewn about,” Poe said.

While Joe Poe is asking for volunteers in Waverly, the Virginia Department of Emergency Managementsays people should not just show up at other disaster sites to help.

They're asking people to visit their website for a list of nonprofits who are helping out in the tornado-ravaged communities.

From there you can contact those nonprofits to find out what they need.

Poe says Waverly still needs supplies and the Fresh Pride is the spot to take them, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Many nonprofits told CBS 6 that monetary donations are what's most needed right now.

They said volunteers still can't access the disaster zone in Tappahannock because police have it blocked off right now for safety reasons. When volunteers are able to access it, there's a lot to clean up there too. The Tappahannock donations coordinator outlined specific needs, which can be found below.

Michelle Jones, whose brother died when a tornado lifted up his home and tossed him out, said a hug can make a huge difference in someone's life.

“To offer their help their hugs their love even to give donations out to you and don't even know you that means more than anything,” she said.

Bill Talley Ford off Mechanicsville Turnpike has teamed up with other local vendors to deliver much-needed supplies and necessities to the people of Tappahannock.

They are taking bottled water, canned goods, non-perishable food items and paper goods which will be used at the shelter that has been set up at Essex Intermediate School. NO clothing or blanket donations at this time.

If you would like to donate any of these items, please drop them off at Bill Talley Ford, Inc. 6280 Mechanicsville Turnpike Monday - Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

The Shell station in Stoney Creek will be accepting donations that Girl Scout Troop 349 will be picking up to deliver to families in Waverly.

EVB Bank branches will serve as drop off location to collect supplies such as:
• bottled water
• non-perishable food items
• cleaning supplies (trash bags, rakes, gloves etc.)
• toiletries
• clothing
• monetary donations (checks payable to the American Red Cross, make sure to specify Tappahannock Tornado Relief Fund or Waverly Tornado Relief Fund.)

For any questions, please contact your nearest EVB branch. For a list of our branch locations, please visit


A command center has been established at the Fresh Pride, alongside Hardees, at the 233 South County Drive Building A.

A contact person will be there until 6 or 7 p.m. each night to accept donations. Contact CBS 6 if you need their number. Items are being catalogued and currently there is not a need for clothes. There is a need for nonperishable items, household items, and water.

Monetary donations can be made through the Sussex County Treasurer, just specify “Disaster Relief.”
Sussex County Treasurer
PO Box 1399
Sussex, VA 23884
(434) 246-1087

The Dinwiddie Co. Sheriff’s Office is also taking donations for Waverly at their Sheriff’s Office, 14230 Sycamore Drive. You can also contact them at 804-929-2283 or 804-943-1653 or contact through Facebook.


A command center has been established at Liberty Baptist Church and residents are in need of nonperishable items, household items, clothing, feminine products, diapers, and water.

1709 Church St, Appomattox, VA 24522
(434) 352-2336

The county administrator’s office is assessing need for monetary donations at this time.  Their contact info is (434) 352 2637.


A command center has been established at the old Southern States, at  1616 Tappahannock Blvd. Residents are in need of nonperishable items, household items, clothing, feminine products, diapers, and water.

The donations coordinator said that due to the "overwhelming generosity of our community, our neighboring communities, our fellow Virginians and other states," they can't store any more items this weekend.

They have to distribute items before they can take more.

The only items they need at this time are large, hard-sided totes and gift cards to Walmart, Lowes, and local restaurants.

Clean up help is needed and being organized by the Fire Department. Call 804-443-0658.

Volunteers to help with deliveries can call: Pastor Larry 804-304-0538.

Monetary Donations can be made payable to:
Essex Co. Dept of Social Services
PO Box 1004, Tappahannock, VA 22560
Memo:Tornado Relief

These funds will only be distributed to Essex Co Tornado Victims


Monetary donations are also being accepted through the American Red Cross, just specify Essex County Tornado.



Watch 'The Jennifer Hudson Show' weekdays at 3 p.m. on CBS 6!

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.