Christ Lutheran Church and Red Cross accepting donations for fire victims

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Efforts are under way to help the the victims of Monday's massive fire.

Christ Lutheran Church is one organization spearheading initiatives to assist the families. Monday night, the church arranged hotel rooms for folks who couldn't find a place to stay.

Now, people from all across the metro are asking how they can help. FOX 4's Sean McDowell was at Christ Lutheran Church, where many forms of quick relief are already available.

Leaders of the church kept the building open throughout the night, providing everything from meals to access to clean bathrooms.

Food and drinks have been donated, as grocery stores and private citizens are giving a lot of good things to the church to distribute to the community.

Pastor Jeffrey Kunze said he's overwhelmed by the many gifts of kindness that have been donated to the church, meant for the victims of the fire as well as the volunteers who are helping them.

Kunze said the church has all the food and drinks it can handle, but people in the community still want to help the victims.

"We have restaurants and grocery stores and other businesses, and we still have some right now asking, 'what can we do to help?'" Kunze said. "We've said there's gift cards, that is what the Red Cross is saying to get. You can bring a gift card, we can get that to some of the families so they can get the items that they need."

The church is also providing counselors as well as access to Red Cross volunteers who are making sure people's emotional needs are also being met.

One of those counselors mentioned that this is the first crisis he's dealt with in which cell phones were really such a big part of the conversation. He said people were able to capture footage of their world burning down, and that it turned out to be an expression to help convey what they were feeling.

Christ Lutheran Church and the Red Cross are receiving monetary donations for victims. Donations of food, water, and clothes are no longer needed at this time.

You can drop off gift cards or make a monetary donation at Christ Lutheran Church, located at 11720 Nieman Road.

Donations can also be made to the Red Cross at 51 area Price Chopper locations. You can simply add an additional charge in the amount of your choosing at the register. Donations will be collected through Saturday.