Friday, May 24, 2013

Philanthropic Friday: Rebuilding Oklahoma

I'm sure we've all been closely following the devastation caused by the EF5 tornado just outside of Oklahoma City, OK, on May 20. 24 killed, 377 hospitalized, schools and homes destroyed...  Above all, as always, residents badly need your prayers. Parents have lost children, children have lost parents, lives and homes have been permanently damaged. What's needed most is hope. If you'd like to donate to help rebuild their lives, money is generally the best way to assist in providing clothing, food, and supplies to those in need,  unless you live very close.

A teacher hugs a child at Briarwood Elementary school in south Oklahoma City.
Photo: Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman, May 20, 2013
  • Send a personalized message of hope to be hand-delivered to families in Moore, OK. Text HOPE to 38383 and you'll be asked to send a message with words of support--maybe your favorite scripture, maybe just let them know you're thinking of them. This service is provided by
  • Give blood. Disasters like this where so many are injured and treated at hospitals create high demands for plasma donations. Do your part by giving blood at your local blood bank or hospital. To find one near you, search your city on the AABB website.
  • The Red Cross has set up shelters for those whose homes were destroyed by the tornado. To support their efforts, you can donate in several ways--via their website, by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 (to have the donation included on your cell phone bill), over the phone by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or even by donating frequent flyer miles that they can use to fly volunteers and staff into emergency areas. For Delta, email with your SkyMiles number, the number of miles you want to donate, and specify the Red Cross as the charity. Click here to donate US Airways miles, and here to donate United miles.

  • Support teachers and help rebuild Moore schools. Two schools were completely destroyed and more were damaged. The website helps teachers raise money for needs in the classroom. They are doing a special project to help teachers and students in Moore. "When teachers in Moore are ready, we will help them create classroom recovery projects for critical supplies such as clothing, food, books, therapy resources and classroom furniture. These teachers know best what their students need, and we can empower them to rebuild their classrooms. Your donation will be sent directly to teachers in Moore, OK, empowering them to restock their classrooms and help their students recover." If this is something you're interested in getting involved in, click here.
  • The OK Strong Disaster Relief Fund was established by Governor Mary Fallin, "in coordination with the United Way of Central Oklahoma... to assist with the long-term needs of victims devastated by the May tornadoes." If you'd like to donate to this fund, head to the United Way website portal here.

  • For an extensive list of other ways to donate, see this article from US News.
Thanks for your generosity and your prayers!

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