Tonawanda Resident Helps Relief Effort In Tornado Torn Missouri

May 26, 2011 Updated May 26, 2011 at 3:40 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

...
May 26, 2011 Updated May 26, 2011 at 3:40 PM EDT

Tornados ripped through Joplin, Missouri, destroying everything in their paths.

"The tornado was three quarters of a mile wide and it went through the heart of Joplin. I know a lot of people in the heart of Joplin," Kristian Rutenkroger said.

Kristian Rutenkroger who is originally from Joplin, saw the damage on TV from his current home in Tonawanda unable to get through to his loved ones still living in the storm-torn area.

"The more I saw the devastation the more worried I became," Rutenkroger said.

When he finally got a hold of his mother, he was relieved but knew he had be part of the effort to help residents pick up the pieces of their lives.

"I just had this huge urge to do something but I knew I couldn't just up and leave," Rutenkroger said.

So instead, Kristian thought of another solution that would keep him home with his six-month-old little boy, while also helping the town he love.

"So I wrote up a letter for any donations. It's started off with my co-workers but it has gone definitely farther than that," Rutenkroger said.

Kristian is looking for donations of everything from diapers and toys to bottle water and toiletries. Then, the items can be dropped off at the Tonawanda Police Station on Sheridan Drive.

"I'm going to get down there as quick as I can. I'm going to leave on the 31st that Tuesday morning with whatever I have and whatever donations are made," Rutenkroger said.

Along with delivering the much-needed supplies, Kristian will also join in the search for the 1500 residents still missing in the rubble.