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5 ways the internet is helping Joplin, Mo. tornado victims

Kelsee Shanks hugs Theresa Adams, of Joplin, Mo.
Kelsee Shanks, left, of Carl Junction, Mo., hugs Theresa Adams, of Joplin, Mo. in front of the wreckage of a school in Joplin on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. AP Photo/The Joplin Globe, Roger Nomer

(CBS) - The benefits of the internet continue to amaze us. In the wake of the Joplin, Mo. tornado, cyberspace has made waves in aiding survivors of the disaster and their loved ones.

From making it very easy for do-gooders to donate to supporting victims in their recovery, we want to say thanks, internet, for making it possible to do these helpful things...

Donation sites

Give to the Red Cross, The Salvation Army and World Vision (just to name a few) to help tornado victims rebuild. You can also donate a cell phone for victims whose mobile devices were destroyed or lost.


Locating loved ones via Facebook

Various Facebook pages have sprouted up trying to help residents find loved ones, like this Joplin, Mo. Tornado Survivors page. And here's one for people who can't find their pets, Animals Lost & Found from the Joplin, Mo tornado. It breaks our hearts to see folks post pictures of missing family members, pets and friends, but we're hopeful this can help reunite those separated.


Facebook's lost and found

Patty Buillon created a Facebook page, Pictures and Documents found after the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes, where people can post pictures and items they found that were blown away by the tornado. She started it because she found some of these precious memorabilia on her own near the disaster area. There are now over 600 pictures on the page -- 40 have been identified.


Tweeting important information

Relief Spark, a non-profit's whose mission is to remodel schools, has turned their Twitter into a feed of valuable information for tornado survivors. Tweets are directing first responders to meeting places and posting when shelters have opened their doors to victims.


Online resources

Those affected by the tornadoes can visit, a local community site. They've put together a list of help hotlines, other useful phone numbers and important Web sites for volunteers, victims and loved ones. People can also visit the Facebook community, Joplin, MO Tornado Recovery, which offers valuable information and support.


The help doesn't stop here. Please spread the word. Tell your friends and followers on your social networks how they can help, too.

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