I remember that day in May of 1999 when the skies swirled green. I had never seen a sky like that, even growing up in tornado alley. It was the day of my Chemistry 2 final. A class I was barely passing, and needed to scrape by to get into the nutrition program. My future hinged on that test. As I crammed in one last session with the tutor, sirens interrupted us. I think we hid in the basement twice that afternoon before sprinting into the testing room. That night we had no power, so we didn’t realize the extent of the devastation until the morning. We sat glued to the news all day, gaping at the mess only ten miles north of where we sat. I’ll never forget driving past that stretch of Moore the next day. It’s true, seeing the wreckage in person is completely different than watching it on TV. Where buildings stood, only the foundation was left. Everything gone. Just gone. The tornado cut a mile-wide hole through the state.
And they’re saying this tornado was 3 times worse. I sit watching the news again all these years later, and I know the reality of what I’m seeing is infinitely, painfully worse than what can be conveyed on the screen.
I can’t get Oklahoma off my mind. Too many pieces of my heart are there.
Oklahoma, my first home away from home.
Where I partied too hard, and inched closer to Jesus.
Where I fell in love with nutrition.
Where I made my lifelong friends, many of whom are still there and thankfully ok.
Where I met and married a sarcastic baseball player.
Where my family reunited, for a while at least.
So I pray, I groan, and I help.
Because we are not helpless, this far away, we can still do something.
If you want to help, make sure to go with a reputable organization who is already on the ground. Here are some ideas (thank you Pioneer Woman for pulling many of these together).
Hope Mob & Convoy of Hope
HopeMob is the only fee-free fundraising platform online. 100% of all funds received will go to Moore, OK where they already have teams working on the ground.
The Okay See
Benefit T-Shirts. 100% of all proceeds will go directly to help Oklahoman’s affected by the May Tornados.
Supporters are encouraged to give online at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). You can also text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone; to confirm your gift, respond with the word “Yes.”
Samaritan’s Purse has deployed a team to Moore, Oklahoma and will respond to the current needs in any way they can.
Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, in partnership with Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, is asking that the public support all rescue, recovery and disaster relief efforts with donations of cash to your favorite responding charity. Financial donations will allow disaster relief agencies to purchase whatever items are deemed necessary without resulting in the additional burden of securing warehouse space and volunteers to work donated product.
To make a tax deductible donation to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, go to www.regionalfoodbank.org or call 604-7111 or text FOOD to 32333 to give $10 to relief efforts.
Feeding America will deliver truckloads of food, water and supplies to impacted areas through its network of more than 200 food banks and 61,000 agencies. The organization’s food banks will also set up additional dropoff sites.
American Red Cross
People who wish to make a donation can support American Red Cross Disaster Relief, which helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters like the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas as well as disasters big and small throughout the United States by visiting redcross.org, dialing 1-800-REDCROSS or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.