Donations pour in to help families affected by St. Charles County tornado


ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — The New Melle Fire Station is filling up with donations of water, food, toys, and gift cards to help families affected by a tornado that ripped through St. Charles County last week.

“It’s been overwhelming, we actually had to have the stuff shipped out because we had so much that we were running out of room,” said New Melle Fire Captain Mike Colbert.

Rebuilding and cleanup efforts continue, from New Melle to Defiance and across St. Charles County. The issue they didn’t expect to have? Too many donations. 

“Too much stuff water, food, clothes and they’re still donating gift cards,” Colbert said.  

He appreciates the outpour of support and said not all problems are bad ones.  

“It’s a very good problem for me to have,” Colbert said. “It was a good problem for me to try and figure out what to do with everything.”

On Tuesday, St. Charles County was able to provide storage relief. A 16-year-old high school junior at Francis Howell is helping lead the organizational efforts. 

“I had a truck full of animal feed today that I actually went and delivered after school,” McCloud said.  

Along with Erin Cox, McCloud has helped run The New Melle 411 Facebook account, who many have relied on since Friday’s tornado hit.  

“We kind of had to address wants versus needs and we got everybody what they needed,” he said.  

McCloud was alongside first responders Saturday morning at Frisella Nursery in Defiance.  

“There were people that wanted to help, and we needed to figure out where they needed to go to help,” he said.  

McCloud said he’s glad to see the donations come in.  

“It was all people from the community who were helping, and they were donating stuff, which is another reason why I love this community. everybody jumps in when there’s a need for something,” McCloud said.  

Colbert and McCloud are asking people to reach out to New Melle 411 Facebook page, rather than drop donations off at the fire station. 

With a surplus of goods being stored, McCloud offered another suggestion that the fire station is accepting, gift cards. 

“These families could use some money right now. Sure, insurance is going to cover stuff, but it’s nice to have a little extra money on hand,” McCloud said.  

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