ShawnaShawna Russell (third from R) joined by volunteer relief workers and 
contributors "Fill the Willie Bus" for tornado victims in Shawnee, OK

In a relief effort dubbed "Fill the Willie Bus," Okemah, Oklahoma recording artist Shawna Russell used her tour bus – formerly owned by music icon Willie Nelson – on Wednesday to help with the collection and delivery of badly needed supplies to tornado victims in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  The area was struck this week by a devastating storm the day before the larger tornado hit in nearby Moore.

After spreading the word through social media, Russell, her family and band members marshaled volunteers from towns across the region to help accept donations and load them onto the "Willie Bus" (as she and her band affectionately call it) which was parked along Interstate 40 near her home.  By day’s end, donated items filled most available space on the bus and required three additional vehicles to help deliver the supplies to Dale Middle School, a distribution point for Shawnee and surrounding communities.  Cash donations were also deposited at local banks where accounts have been established to help disaster victims.

"I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt to contribute to the relief efforts in these areas. The need is so great everywhere," states Russell. "My thoughts and prayers are with my fellow Oklahomans in this trying time."

Shawna newAbout Shawna Russell:  Singer/songwriter and performer, Shawna Russell, hails from Okemah, Oklahoma, the home of Woody Guthrie.  And like the legendary figure, Russell has spent a good deal of her life writing songs and travelling the roads of America performing her music. Russell has been performing since she was a child – but she first came to prominence on the national and international music scene with the release of her debut album GODDESS in 2008 and followed that with her self-titled sophomore album in 2011.  Both were released on Way Out West Records, a label which she co-owns.  Russell’s music has received acclaim from COUNTRY WEEKLY, BILLBOARD, CMA CLOSE UP, MAVERICK MAGAZINE (UK), MUSICROW, ROUGHSTOCK, DREAMWEST (France), THE OKLAHOMAN, OKLAHOMA GAZETTE, THE CURRENT and others. Her songs have charted in the U.S. on the Texas Music, Texas Regional Radio Report, Billboard "New and Active" and MusicRow charts, and internationally on the Hotdisc and New Christian Music charts. Her videos have been featured on The Country Network, Yallwire, CMT.com and GACTV.com.

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Shawna Russell (third from R) joined by volunteer relief workers and  contributors "Fill the Willie Bus" for tornado victims in Shawnee, OK In a relief effort dubbed "Fill the Willie Bus," Okemah, Oklahoma recording artist Shawna Russell used her tour bus - formerly owned by music icon...