Tornado Relief: Resources, Donation Information and Volunteer Opportunities

By Holly Bonner

Local hotels, nonprofits and businesses around the Chattanooga area are providing safe havens to people who lost their homes after the tornados on Sunday night.

Partnering with Marriott’s SpringHill Suites, the American Red Cross is offering 50 free rooms to people and families in need at the hotel's Ooltewah location. To qualify for a room, your home must be in unlivable or hazardous conditions. Approved residents can put their name on the waiting list by visiting the Marriott and talking to the Red Cross in person.

“The Red Cross is here as long as people need them, and I encourage anyone who has been displaced by the tornados to come sign up,” says Constance Coffman, the Marriott’s Regional Director of Sales. 

To help with tornado relief efforts, the Red Cross is collecting donations from the community. Marriott guests can collect the donated snacks, drinks, toiletries and other items from the hotel.

Another business stepping up to assist in the efforts is Moxy Chattanooga, a Marriott-owned downtown hotel. 

“Moxy Chattanooga is open and welcoming guests who are displaced for any reason as well as emergency responders, medical professionals or any others seeking accommodations,” says Kacey Swindell, the Director of Sales. 

During this time, the Moxy is providing an emergency relief rate of $84 a night, and waiving their usual $50 pet fee. Guests can enjoy 24/7 food and beverage services, complimentary internet and around-the-clock customer service.

BODE, a modern Chattanooga-based hotel, is also opening up its doors by providing discounted rates to support first responders and locals who have been affected by the tornado. To inquire about a room, email them here.  

Vibrant Meals, a healthy meal prep and food delivery service, launched their own donation effort, by offering to match each meal donated through them. If you want to donate food through Vibrant Meals, visit them here

For requested donation items and Red Cross drop-off locations, visit the Greater Chattanooga Area Tornado 2020 Facebook page.

Along with Red Cross, the Hamilton Family YMCA is also setting up donation locations beginning April 15, from 2 to 7 p.m. To donate monetarily, people can give to the YMCA Emergency Response Fund here

Requested donation items include: 

  • Blankets
  • Personal hygiene items; i.e., soap, shampoo, deodorant, feminine products, etc. 
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Baby items i.e., diapers, wipes, formula, etc. 
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Tarps
  • Unused packing boxes and materials 
  • Plastic storage containers

Because of COVID-19, used clothes, toys, books and other items will not be accepted.   

Tornado cleanup efforts will begin Thursday, April 16 at the Hamilton Family YMCA located at 7430 Shallowford Road. If you are interested in volunteering, please complete this form and you will be contacted once volunteer efforts begin. For larger volunteer groups, contact Brooke Satterfield here. Both manual labor and facility volunteers are welcome. 

Find a schedule of the volunteer shifts starting Friday, April 17 here

In an effort to ensure nonprofits have what they need to support our community, the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga is partnering with United Way of Chattanooga to launch the Tornado Relief Fund. The fund will allow nonprofits to continue providing their vital services as they help people recover from loss.