“Sending prayers to OK we drove that highway last night.
Please text to donate $10″:
STORM to 80888 for Salvation Army
REDCROSS to 90999 for The Red Cross
FOOD to 32333 for Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
– Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson’s 80th Birthday Celebration Hosted by Hard Rock Cafe New York on June 6th to Support the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance and Animal Welfare Institute
Purchase Tickets Tuesday May 21st at www.ticketweb.com
See Four Generations of The Nelson Family sharing the same stage for the first time ever. Performances to include Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real – Insects vs Robots- Official Paula Nelson Band – Raelyn Nelson Band – Lechuza – Folk Uke with Toad the Wet Sprocket – Robert Randolph – and Special Guests.
by: Christina Vinson
Willie Nelson has made a lasting and memorable contribution to country music, solidifying his status as an icon. At 80, he continues to make himself known — not only in music, but also as a kind heart. The singer recently turned his birthday bash into a benefit for the victims of last month’s West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion, and hanging over a big check to go toward the relief efforts just this week.
Shotgun Willie raised more $120,000 following the tragedy, the Tennessean reports. A representative for the singer presented a check on Monday (May 13) for nearly $81,000 to the West Volunteer Fire Department. Most of that money was raised during Nelson’s Austin-area benefit concert.
In addition, approximately $40,000 was given to Nelson’s hometown of Abbott, which was also impacted by the blast. “There are a lot of our friends and loved ones and neighbors down there,” the singer says. “We talked to some of them and some of them made it out OK, and some of them didn’t.”
The ‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance‘ icon certainly provided a vast amount of relief through his philanthropic and heartfelt giving, and his care for the people in the West, Texas area is tangible.
Adds Nelson, “But they’re strong and they’ll be back. It’s one of those things you don’t get over. But you will get through it.”
It doesn’t seem that the legendary singer will kick his feet up in a leisurely retirement anytime soon — after the release of a new album, Nelson is gearing up for the 2013 Taste of Country Music Festival this June and will keep up a busy touring schedule throughout the heat of the summer.
by: Jack Fink
WEST (CBS 11) - At the West Volunteer Fire Department, a day of mixed emotions. As they continue to mourn their seven firefighters killed when the West Fertilizer Company plant exploded, they take comfort in the generosity of country superstar Willie Nelson.
He held a benefit concert for West last month, and on Monday, one of his life-long friends, Donald Reed, presented the fire department a check for $80,900. “Heroes they were, even though they are not here, we should never forget them.”
Reed says Nelson was deeply touched by what happened. “Willie is so benevolent, so loving, so gracious.”
West Mayor Pro Tem Stevie Vanek says, “What he (Nelson) has done for us — with our fire department, and our fundraising, it would have taken us ten years to raise that kind of money.”
For the first time since the blast that claimed the lives of his volunteers, Chief George Nors was overcome with emotion. “Can’t express it — it’s emotional for me.”
He was injured while responding to the fire at the plant and is still wearing a brace.
“I’m doing better, I’m doing better. I got hurt in the blast, I’m still recuperating.”
The good news wasn’t isolated to West.
Nelson and the Abbott Methodist church also presented a check to the town of Abbott for $46,551.
Three of their volunteer firefighters also lost their lives.
“Willie’s always been generous to help us out anything we need in Abbott, he’s always been willing to donate or help.”
Back at the West fire department, the money will go for new equipment, such as pagers, beepers and radios.
The department has also received two donated firetrucks — a used pumper truck, and a brand new tanker that can hold 3,000 gallons of water.
It’s worth $250,000.
Vanek says, “This is a great donation for us,” according to Vanek, who explains the money will be used to buy radios, beepers, and pagers to replace those lost during the blast.
Some money will also go to the families of the firefighters killed.
Next week, the fire department hopes to resume responding to all fire calls in the city.
For now, they’re covering calls that come in only at night.
Thanks to Tara for sharing photos of the horses she adopted through Habitat for Horses. Sara and her family gave home to paint horses that were living at Willie Nelson’s ranch outside of Austin, Texas. If you would like information about how you can adopt one of these signature horses that were rescued by Habitat for Horses and Willie Nelson, or if you would like offer financial support, visit their website: www.habitatforhorses.org.
“They are the best ! Medicine Man is the sweetest horse ever he follows me everywhere and rubs his head on me when I am brushing him. Accidental Outlaw has bonded with my husband and enjoys being brushed as well. Such good horses and so friendly!!!” — Tara Roy
Tara Roy recently took possession of her rescued horses from Willie Nelson’s ranch:
“OMG!!!!!! Just got Medicine Man and Accidental Outlaw, they are sooooo beautiful!!!!!! They were a little wild when we picked them up but are calming down nicely here at the house. Will send pictures soon. Just wanted to thank you for helping us get them.
WOW, now I have the horses of my dreams and the best looking paints in the county!!!!! THANK YOU HABITAT FOR HORSES!!!!!!!!!”
If you have room in your home or heart for a beautiful paint, you can see pictures of Willie Nelson’s signature paint horses available for adoption and get more information at Habitat for Horses Website here.
Not many know of a very special place called Luck, Texas. It’s a spot on the map outside Austin where many horses rescued from various ordeals, situations, abuse and neglect by Habitat for Horses have been offered the opportunity to reside on a peaceful ranch nestled in the Texas Hill Country. Here they live free of their respective traumas at the home of an American Icon… Mr. Willie Nelson, a Country Music Legend. Mr. Nelson and his daughter, Amy, have long been lovers of horses as well as faithful supporters for the rights of horses. Mr. Nelson has graciously offered his home, a stunningly beautiful ranch in the Texas Hill Country as a safe haven for some of God’s most amazing creations.
Through the diligent efforts of Mr. Nelson, his daughter Amy, and Habitat for Horses, more than 70 of the horses rescued throughout the years by Habitat for Horses have been able to call his beautiful ranch their home. Here they have healed in body, mind and spirit and have flourished beyond our greatest expectations. Now a rare few are ready for their very own forever loving home with a family to train them and allow them to become their best friend.
So typical of Willie Nelson — he turns the big 8-0, but instead of sitting around relaxing and accepting gifts, best wishes and accolades — Willie Nelson starts giving gifts to everyone else. First, he announces that his fans can help him celebrate his birthday, a day which year after year he says is ‘just another day’, and most often finds him performing at one of his regularly scheduled shows somewhere around the country or the world.
This year, Willie invited his family and friends and fans to his home town of Austin, Texas, to celebrate his birthday with him at a concert at the Back Yard. So, instead of him sitting around doing nothing, he works hard and entertains us fans who are sitting around doing nothing, enjoying him. So Willie.
Then, when the terrible fire/explosion disaster happened at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, Willie immediately changed the concert from a birthday celebration concert, to a fundraiser to benefit the folks of West, Texas, and volunteer fire department, who lost so many precious lives and equipment that day. Willie and his sister Bobbie Nelson were born and grew up right down the road from West, in Abbott, Texas, and had friends in the area who suffered from the event. Willie immediately wanted to donate the proceeds from the concert to help out his friends and neighbors. So Willie.
Thanks, to Tim O’Connor, of the BackYard, and their staff and crew, and Willie Nelson and Family and Crew, for their generosity towards the folks in West, Texas.
If you couldn’t make it to the concert, there are ways you can still help out the folks of West and Abbott, Texas:
A benefit account for the “Abbott VFD- Fallen Fighters Fund” has been set up at The First National Bank of Central Texas, in Hillsboro, Texas. If anyone would like to donate, please stop by or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate contact them. ~*God Bless*~ The address is : FNBCT, 300 E. Elm St, Hillsboro, TX 76645.
West Texas Relief Fund:
The City Council of West officially endorsed the West, Texas Disaster Relief Efforts Fund as the recommended recipient for all charitable donations made for the relief efforts in West, Texas.
Three local foundations – Cooper, Rapoport and Waco – coordinated together to establish The West, Texas Disaster Relief Efforts Fund, housed at Waco Foundation. This Fund is for the sole benefit of the victims and relief efforts of the West Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion. The Rapoport Foundation made the lead gift of $20,000 to the Fund in order to encourage the Waco community to be the leading contributors in support of our neighbors in West. Cooper Foundation quickly followed suit with a gift of $20,000 to the Fund. To date, the Fund has received almost $310,000 from individuals and foundations throughout the United States.
The Fund can accept donations of cash, check, credit card or publicly traded securities. Contributions may be designated for general assistance, firefighter relief or for the victims who were directly impacted by this tragedy. General assistance contributions to the Fund are strongly encouraged as there are many other needs to be addressed that do not fit into a designated category. Waco Foundation is covering all administrative cost so that 100% of the contributions received from donors will be distributed out to the relief efforts. In addition, Waco Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity; therefore all gifts received are fully tax deductible.
To donate to the West, Texas Disaster Relief Efforts Fund, visit wacofoundation.org and click the West, Texas Disaster Relief Efforts link on the homepage. Checks can be made payable to Waco Foundation for the benefit of the West, Texas Disaster Relief Efforts Fund. All additional inquiries related to charitable contributions should be directed to Melissa Miller, Director of Communications & Donor Services, at Waco Foundation at (254) 754-3404 or email@example.com.
American Red Cross
West, Texas, May 1, 2013 — Two weeks after a fertilizer plant exploded in West, Texas, claiming lives and leaving hundreds of people in the town without homes, the Red Cross continues to provide food, relief items and emotional support to residents as they take the first steps towards recovery.
To date, the Red Cross has served more than 18,600 meals and snacks and distributed more than 19,400 clean up and hygiene relief items in West, Texas. Red Cross nurses and licensed counselors have made more than 1,200 health contacts and 1,500 mental health contacts with West residents following the trauma of this unique disaster.
“The moment the Red Cross was notified of the disaster, teams from Waco, Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin were en route to respond to this disaster,” said Mark Felton, executive director of the American Red Cross Heart of Texas Chapter. “Just like we were here at first notice, the Red Cross will continue to be here as the people of West take the next steps.”
As those who had homes damaged or destroyed in West continue to work on their long term recovery plan, the Red Cross will continue to be of assistance, providing the means for families to rent new homes, replacing prescription medications and eyeglasses and other services. The Joint Assistance Center in West at 2547 Jerry Mashek Road will be open through Friday, May 3. Red Cross caseworkers will continue to work with families in West to ensure that individual needs are addressed.
For more information on how the Red Cross is responding in West, citizens can call the help hotline at (254) 826-7550 or the Red Cross Heart of Texas at (800) 733-2767.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.
Hooey Hats of Austin
There are probably other sites/organizations helping out, let me know if you know of any others.
Willie Nelson and Tim O’Connor pull together on a big donation to the Abbot and West Fire Departments.
You can donate to the Abbott Fire Department (old school)- mail donations to:
214 E Walnut St, Abbot, TX 76621
Or donate to West Fire Department – mail donations to:
West Fire Department, PO Box 97, West, Tx 76691
Hear the Willie Nelson & Family 80th Birthday Concert broadcast LIVE on SiriusXM Willie’s Roadhouse from The Backyard at Bee Cave on Sunday 4/28 9 pm ET with an encore rebroadcast on Willie’s birthday Tuesday 4/30 8 pm ET. The concert will be a joint benefit for the Abbott, TX and West, TX volunteer fire departments to replace equipment lost in the fertilizer plant explosion last week.
Donations can also be made directly to the Abbott Volunteer Fire Dept., P.O. Box 24, Abbott, TX 76621 and the West Volunteer Fire Dep’t, P.O. Box 461, West, TX 76691.
by: Denise Quan
The recent fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas hit Willie Nelson close to home.
The legendary singer/songwriter hails from Abbott, Texas, not far from West in the central part of the state.
West, a small town with a population of 2,800, is still reeling from Wednesday night’s eruption. Twelve bodies were recovered at the scene Friday, but the exact number of casualties was unclear.
Nelson was already set to play a show in Austin, Texas, on April 28, and in the aftermath of the devastating explosion he’s turning the event into a benefit for West.
“West is just a few miles from my hometown of Abbott. I was born and raised here and it was my backyard growing up,” Nelson said in a statement. “This is my community. These friends and neighbors have always been and are still a part of my life.”
Proceeds from the show will now go to the West Volunteer Fire Department. Those who want to contribute can also visit Nelson’s website for more information on how to help.
“My heart,” Nelson said, “is praying for the community that we call home.”
by Ashley Chapman
For information about the Back Yard Show, and how you can get tickets: www.TheBackYard.net.
When the news of the explosion that shook the town of West, Texas on Wednesday night April 17, Willie Nelson was devastated. Nelson had a personal connection with the community; he was born and raised just six short miles from where the blast occurred in a town known as Abbott, Texas. Willie Nelson spoke with CMT during an interview the morning after the explosion and said, “It’s where I grew up. I road my bike from Abbott to West and back all the time on that road where all that stuff happened. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those folks there in West”.
Emergency personnel continue to search for survivors of the explosion that shook the town just 80 miles south of Dallas, Texas. As many as thirty-five people are believed to been killed, including five members of the Volunteer Fire Department from West, four EMS workers and an off-duty Dallas firefighter.
Willie Nelson who turns 80 on the 30 of April planned to celebrate with a show two days before at the Backyard at Bee Cave near Austin, Texas. As of now, Willie Nelson is turning his show into a benefit concert for the West Fire Department. Willie stated that until April 18 the show was set to be a birthday gathering celebrating his age, life, and accomplishments, now him, his sons Lukas and Michah, as well as his daughters Paula and Amy, are all going to be there for a benefit concert performed for the West Fire Department.
Willie Nelson’s concert will take place on April 28 at the Backyard at Bee Cave; however, now all of the proceeds for that day will be donated to the West Volunteer Fire Department. If you are in the Austin, Texas area Willie Nelson encourages you to come out and show some support for the town of West, Texas. Nelson, is encouraging anyone that wants to join in to do so, he seems to be open to anything right now as long as it helps a town he is all too familiar with.
For many Willie Nelson is a great icon of Country Music even to this day. With his famous hits such as ‘Always on My Mind’, ‘Crazy’, ‘On the Road Again’, and many more have become family favorites for many years. The generosity Willie Nelson is showing the town of West, Texas is very admirable and admiring.