SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – In the wake of a devastating tornado that struck Bryan County Tuesday, the United Way of the Coastal Empire has organized a fund to provide for critical needs in the community.

All year long, the nonprofit coordinates resources with its partners to provide long-term assistance to residents in Bryan, Chatham, Liberty and Effingham counties.

But when disaster hits, United Way is there to assess immediate needs, like temporary shelter, food and clothing.

“So, United Way, our mission is to mobilize the caring power of the community to improve lives,” says Brynn Grant, CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire.

Hundreds of containers of water and food have been donated to those impacted by the deadly tornado. The community outreach has gone above and beyond, but food and water aren’t all of what those affected need.

“The community has been so generous and have given us so many donations,” said Wendy Futch, executive director of Bryan County Family Connection. “And now we are just looking at long-term recovery and what that will look like and what these families will need in the long term. And so, we know that will take money.”

And there are numerous ways your monetary donation can have an impact.

“Whether that might be temporary shelter or food or gas or replacement of medication,” said Grant. “If there are still dollars available to help with the long-term recovery. We know that’s going to be very expensive.”

The nonprofit established the Bryan County Disaster Response Fund this week to make giving back easy. Donations can be made by texting “Help Today” to 40403 or on the United Way’s website at

“We are asking everyone to join us by giving to help those impacted,” United Way of the Coastal Empire President and CEO Brynn Grant stated.

For residents in need, call the United Way at 211 for assistance.

The United Way says any donation helps.

“We know for a fact that we will not raise enough because homes have to be rebuilt and that’s thousands and thousands of dollars,” says Futch.