I’ll put what I was going to write about this morning on hold for a few days. I was writing about something that disappoints me, but it’s nothing compared to a mile-wide tornado hitting the town you live in, which is what happened to 55,000 residents of Moore, Oklahoma yesterday.
Now, aside from a year or so in Ohio as a toddler, I’ve spent my entire life in Tornado Alley. There are seven states that get more tornadoes than Missouri, but only seven. Oklahoma gets more than any state other than Texas. I know the drill, and even my three-year-old knows it. When the sirens blare, everyone goes to the basement, and I turn on one of the weather channels to see what’s going on. I even have a battery-operated TV that I can use if the power goes out. It happens several times a year, and we’re used to it.
What we’re not used to is the bad stuff happening. That happens every year too, somewhere, but you never really get used to that.
The wounds are still fresh as I’m writing this, and I’m sure all relief efforts are still in their infancy. As the day progresses, I imagine organizations like the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and perhaps the Salvation Army will start getting their plans in place. One thing anyone can do at any time is to give blood, assuming they’re medically cleared to do so. That blood may not directly go to Oklahoma, but if it doesn’t, it’s replacing blood that did get diverted there. So that’s something anyone can do that only takes an hour or so and doesn’t cost anything.
If you feel inclined to give money, I would stick with one of those larger organizations. Unfortunately disasters like these bring out a lot of scammers creating fake fundraisers. Giving money to established charities is the best way to avoid that.
UMCOR, United Methodist Committee On Relief, is another good one. They maintain depots with stuff ready to go. Administrative costs are covered by the General Conference budget, so donations go 100% to the specified relief effort.
advance no. for the Oklahoma disaster is #901670