Thursday, April 15, 1999

How to help, get help

Red Cross Service Center
        The Cincinnati Area Red Cross service center is open to help people who sustained damage to or lost their homes in last week's tornado. Hours of operation for the center at Good Shepherd Catholic Church: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 1-7 p.m. Sunday.

        People seeking assistance must bring identification with address of the affected residence. If unavailable, a copy of a recent bill with the address is acceptable.

        Help available includes food, clothing, shelter and furnishings. Red Cross counselors and nurses also will be available.

        Call 579-3000.

        • Members of the Montgomery Assembly of God will prepare and deliver meals to volunteer relief workers today. Individually wrapped cookies, restaurant-size cans of nonperishable soups, tomatoes and vegetables are needed.

        Volunteers can help at the church, 7950 Pfeiffer Road, and should show up at 10:30 a.m. for the lunch shift, 3:30 p.m. for the dinner shift. Call 793-6169.

        • “Clean Up Symmes” will be held Saturday. People in need of help are asked to call 703-0686; volunteers should call 235-9622.

Tax breaks
        State and federal officials have extended the deadline for those affected by Friday's tornado.

        The Ohio Department of Taxation has extended its filing deadline to Aug. 16.

        The Internal Revenue Service has set up a telephone number to help area residents affected by the tornado. Those who lost refund checks, are expecting a refund or need more time to file should call 241-2929 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

        The Ohio Department of Taxation has a toll-free number for tax questions: (800) 282-4310.

        • Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes says property owners who suffered tornado destruction or damage can apply for a valuation deduction.

        Forms are available in the auditor's office and emergency relief centers. Representatives from the office will work in affected areas to help home and business owners.

        Under state law, owners can receive up to a 75 percent deduction for the amount of their loss if they apply by the end of the year. Valuation changes will be effective with the first tax bills next year.

        Information: 946-4000.

Money donations
        American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund: (800) HELP-NOW.

        Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, Kroger stores will match donations through Saturday.

        Thriftway Marketplace stores will donate money collected in its Even-It-Up fund-raising program.

        The Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League will contribute $1 for every ticket bought for the Mighty Ducks game Saturday against the Kentucky Thoroughblades at 7:35 p.m. A box for monetary donations to benefit the Red Cross will be set up at the game and during the club's Fantastic Fanally carnival Friday through Sunday.

        Cincinnati police have set up a fund for Officer Kevin Brown and family: Kevin Brown Tornado Fund, c/o Cincinnati Police Federal Credit Union, 959 W. Eighth St., Suite 101, Cincinnati 45203.

        The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati in Blue Ash is taking contributions. Make checks payable to the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati/Tornado Relief, 4380 Malsbary Road, Suite 200, Cincinnati 45242.

Donations for victims' children
        • A fund has been established for the 5-year-old son of Charles Smith. It is the Charles Cameron Smith Trust Fund; PNC Bank, Montgomery Square Office, 9909 Montgomery Road, Montgomery, OH 45242. Donations can be made at any PNC Bank.

        • The University of Dayton has created a scholarship fund in honor of Jacque and Lee Cook. Initially, it will help cover college expenses for the Cooks' son, Ryan. Administrators hope to make it grow into an endowment that will help other students after Ryan graduates. To donate, send to the Jacque and Lee Cook Memorial Scholarship Fund, the University of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton, Ohio, 45469-1621.

Other donations
        Franklin Savings & Loan branches are serving as drop locations for donations of clothing, toiletries and nonperishable food. Information: 469-8000.

        Bigg's stores are accepting nonperishable food items, cleaning supplies, such as mops and brooms, and clothing in the parking lots of its seven stores.

        Bigg's also will issue a $25 gift certificate to the Red Cross for every $20 donation. Information: 241-3900 or 248-9300.

        Kenwood Baptist Church, 8341 Kenwood Road, is taking food donations and checks, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call 791-0355.

        Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 2692 Madison Road, Norwood, drop-off center for nonperishable items, cleaning supplies.

        Cleaning supplies and such nonperishable items as soft drinks may be dropped off at the Coldwell Banker West Shell Cross-County office, 9122 Montgomery Road. Items will be distributed by the Salvation Army. Call 984-1300.

        Mason Fire Department's Company No. 51, 135 N. Mason-Montgomery Road: furniture, clothing and nonperishable food items, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

        Bob Sumerel Tire Co: nonperishable food items and clothing at its Tristate locations.

        Sycamore Presbyterian Church is serving as a “lost and found” for tornado victims. Anyone finding items that might have been scat tered by the storm can bring them to the church, 11800 Mason Road, Symmes Township.

        The church also is a pick-up relief center and is in need of feminine personal-care items; towels and toilet paper; and school supplies, including backpacks and lunch boxes. Clothing is not needed. Call 683-0254.

        The Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors will develop a temporary rental registry to help people displaced by the storm in Montgomery, Blue Ash and other areas of Southwest Ohio. People or firms with short-term rentals available in those areas are encouraged to call the board at 761-8800. The registry is free.

Free shots
        The Hamilton County Health District is offering free tetanus boosters to people involved in the cleanup. Locations change daily. Call 326-4540 for details.

Corporate help
        Firstar Bank has set up an emergency assistance program to provide special home-equity, personal, business, mortgage and construction loans to tornado victims.

        All loans carry a 90-day deferment in payment. Call (800) 274-4111 through June 1.

        Provident Bank has set up an emergency loan program for tornado victims through May. Call: (800) 335-2220.

        Ten Northern Kentucky hotels are offering free rooms to tornado victims: Drawbridge Estate, Fort Mitchell; Quality Hotel Riverview, Holiday Inn Riverfront and Hampton Inn Riverfront in Covington; Fairfield Inn, Wildwood Inn and Knights Inn in Florence; and AmeriSuites, the Hilton and the Holiday Inn at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Psychological counseling
        Victims needing counseling can contact the following organizations for assistance:

        Red Cross, 579-3900.

        United Way Helpline Information and Referral Center, serving Hamilton, Clermont, Brown, Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties, 721-7900.

        281-CARE is Talbert House's Crisis Care Center serving Hamilton County, 281-2273.

        Hamilton County Family and Children First Council, 946-5465.

        Fernside Center for Grieving Children, for those who lost a loved one, 841-1012.


8 tornado sirens didn't work
In-home warnings considered
Middletown hears call for sirens
Residents begin planning new homes
Academy makes room for 340 displaced students
Officially: 92 homes, 40 businesses destroyed
Restoration, demolition to begin
Road closings, curfews
- How to help, get help
Mail service still disrupted
County officials report on impact, response