Help West

We take a break from football to urge you to help the city of West.

(Editor’s note: we will update this story as more ways to help become available. If you know of a way to help, e-mail associate editor Greg Tepper or Tweet us @DCTF.)

We’re a Texas football publication. But sometimes, the first word – Texas – is more important than the second word – football.

Today is one of those days.

As you probably know by now, the town of West, Texas – a town of 2,600 people about 20 miles north of Waco, home of the West Trojans of District 17-3A – was rocked by a massive explosion at the local fertilizer plant. While the exact damage is still unclear as of this morning, what is clear is catastrophic: more than a few dead, scores injured, homes leveled, lives changed forever.

For being such a small town, West touched a lot of Texans’ lives. It’s a popular stop on the I-35 corridor, home of the best kolaches in America.

Perhaps that’s why this news is so hard to stomach. Perhaps because it hits so close to home, to our Texan brothers and sisters. Perhaps because it’s the second of a 1-2 gutpunch this week.

Whatever the case may be, football hardly seems relevant right now. It feels like it would be inappropriate – even disrespectful – to talk try to talk about football right now.

Instead, here’s some far, far more important information: how to help the people of West.

-The biggest thing you can do right now is to give blood at Carter Blood Care, north central and east Texas’ biggest blood bank. There are dozens of centers scattered hither and yon; here’s a link to where to find them. Or, if you’re in the immediate central Texas area, you can go to Scott & White Hospital, the only level one trauma facility between Dallas and Austin. Here’s a link to where to find it. Blood banks always need donations, but especially in times like this.

-Point West Bank, which has locations in West, Hewitt and China Spring, has set up a fund for the victims. If you’re in the area, you can drop off your donation at one of the branches, or if you’re not in the area, you can send it to…

West Fertilizer Fund
200 W. Oak St.
West, TX 76691

-Or maybe you can even open your home to some of the people displaced by the explosion. If so, fill out this form.

-The Red Cross of DFW and the Red Cross of Austin are both headed to West to do what they can. The best way to help them out is to donate monetarily, and it’s easy: text REDCROSS to 90999. A $10 donation to American Red Cross National Disaster Relief will be put on your phone bill. Keep in mind that your money may not go directly to West, but a rising tide raises all ships. You can also check out their websites here and here to see more ways to help.

-The Extraco Events Center will be setting up to take donations starting about 9 a.m. today. Call 254-776-1660 for more information.

-If you’re a pet person, there are going to be pets that need boarding. If you can board for free, contact Chris Watts at 214-282-4612.

Finally – and this is just DCTF talking – say a prayer or hold a thought for the city of West. There are tough, tough days ahead for our Texan brothers and sisters, and they need our support in every way.

And hug someone you love. Just trust us on this one.

We’ll get back to football tomorrow, when it’s more appropriate. For now, though, try to do something to help our friends in West.

Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football and

He can be reached via e-mail, via Twitter (@Tepper) and via the DCTF Facebook page.