Tornado Relief


The Auburn Family has a long history of pitching in and helping those in need, especially after a tragic event like the March 3 tornadoes. There are many ways to contribute to help our community recover from these devastating storms, and we invite you to join us. There are no easy fixes or fast solutions, but together, we can help those affected rebuild by supporting the efforts of the organizations listed on this page.


Governor's Relief Fund

Help our community recover and rebuild by supporting the Governor’s Relief Fund. Contributions will go directly to the United Way with 100% of donations directed to disaster relief. Click the “Donate Here” button for the Governor’s Relief Fund, then click on that site’s “Donate” button. Choose the option for Lee County or you may designate gifts to areas of greatest need.

Donate Here

Community Foundation of East Alabama

A recovery fund has been set up by the Community Foundation of East Alabama for donors seeking an official conduit to contribute monetarily to the recovery effort.

Donate Here

Red Cross Donations

To donate, text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, which helps people affected by disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires and tornadoes.

Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 90999 to STOP. Text HELP to 90999 for HELP. Full Terms and Privacy Policy


Student spring break volunteer opportunities

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for tornado disaster relief. After consideration with community partners and university departments, we will be postponing the organized student volunteer effort during Spring Break. Students who wish to volunteer on their own may dial 211 to learn about individual volunteer opportunities.

We appreciate your willingness to serve our local community.

What to wear

Most job sites will be outdoors for the entire volunteer shift. Please wear jeans or long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and closed-toe shoes. Work gloves, hats, and safety glasses or sunglasses are also recommended. Do not wear shorts or open-toed shoes. A coat or jacket may also be needed depending on the temperature.

Faculty and staff volunteer opportunities

In the spirit of Auburn’s tradition of service, the university is supportive of faculty and staff who wish to volunteer their time to assist recovery efforts following the devastating March 3 tornadoes in Lee County. Accordingly, President Leath has approved that employees who choose to volunteer between today and Wednesday, March 20 will be able to utilize up to 8 hours of paid community service leave and will not be required to use annual leave.

The university is working to create a community service leave policy that will be announced soon; however, the details shared in this email are in response to the immediate need in our community. When choosing a date to volunteer, employees should consider their work schedule and obtain prior approval from their supervisor. Human Resources will send a separate email with instructions on entering leave time for tornado recovery volunteers or those who choose to volunteer for other community service activities.

Lee County Emergency Management Agency has established two Volunteer Reception Centers to receive volunteers, conduct safety briefings and provide locations of needed work. Volunteers can ride to one of the centers on a Tiger Transit shuttle or in their personal vehicle. At the center, volunteers will be assigned a location and type of assistance needed. Volunteers are encouraged to sign up for tasks best suited to their abilities. Transportation from the center to the impacted area is provided.

Tiger Transit from campus

  • Passenger pick-up and drop-off is at the Hay Fields on South Donahue Drive.

  • Shuttles will leave campus at 8 a.m. and return to campus twice daily, at lunch and 4 p.m.

  • Space is limited to 80 volunteers daily on a first-come, first-served basis.

Personal vehicles

  • Parking is available at the Volunteer Reception Centers. Bus transportation to the disaster area is provided from the centers.

  • All volunteers who choose to drive should report to one of the Volunteer Reception Centers, listed below:

    • Beauregard Volunteer Reception Center
      March 11-22*
      Windmill Acres
      1258 Lee Road 47
      Opelika, AL 36804
      *Dates may extend past March 22, depending on need.

      Smiths Station Volunteer Reception Center
      March 11-13**
      Smiths Station Baptist Church
      2460 Lee Road 430 
      Smiths Station, AL 36877
      **Center will close on March 13, but it may open Saturdays as needed.

To volunteer for clean-up efforts, please note this work will occur outside and requires physical labor.


Debris removal following tornadoes

The Lee County Highway Department states that those who have debris as a result of the tornadoes should push the debris to the "right of way," no closer than three feet from the edge of the pavement. Do not block driveways or gutters. Do not place debris around fire hydrants or any other utilities.

Separate debris by vegetative (trees and limbs), construction materials (wood and insulation) and large appliances.

Off-campus donation sites

The Lee County, Alabama Emergency Management Agency has developed a map of approved distribution and drop-off locations. The map will be updated regularly and is available online

  • First Baptist Church Opelika, located at the corner of 8th Street and C Avenue: Tuesday, March 5 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Trinity United Methodist Church fellowship hall, located at 800 2nd Ave. in Opelika: Tuesday, March 5, to Thursday, March 7, from 1-4 p.m. and Friday, March 8, from 8 a.m.-noon.
  • Greater Peace Baptist Church, located at 650 Jeter Ave. in Opelika: Tuesday, March 5, from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Distribution sites

  • Providence Baptist Church, located at 2807 Lee County Road 166 in Opelika: distribution center is open 24/7.
  • Greater Peace Baptist Church, located at 650 Jeter Ave. in Opelika: Tuesday, March 5, to Friday, March 8, from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, March 9, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Last updated: March 05, 2019