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Three NFL teams gathering aid for Midwest tornado victims

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- At least three NFL teams are pitching in to help victims of the deadly tornadoes that have swept across the Midwest.

The Kansas City Chiefs said Tuesday that they are collecting bottled water and contributing $35,000 to assist victims of devastating tornadoes in Reading, Kan., and Joplin, Mo.

The Chiefs also are teaming with the Salvation Army to collect financial donations for Heart-to-Heart International.

Team employees announced that they would accept bottled-water donations at Arrowhead Stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday. Owner Clark Hunt, general manager Scott Pioli and other team officials planned to help load the trucks Wednesday.

More than 100 people were killed in the tornado that hit Joplin on Sunday. Earlier, one man died and dozens of homes were destroyed in the eastern Kansas community of Reading.

The St. Louis Rams plan to get involved with the relief effort after general manager Billy Devaney and coach Steve Spagnuolo return from the NFL Spring Meeting in Indianapolis. The Rams coaching staff helped in cleanup efforts in St. Louis County from a tornado that devastated entire neighborhoods last month.

The Springfield (Mo.) Cardinals, a minor-league baseball team, will collect fan donations before their games during their current homestand with a formal presentation Friday to representatives of Convoy of Hope, a disaster relief agency.

The Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Products and the American Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis also are involved. The team asked fans to donate bottled water, disposable diapers or money.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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