How to Help Oklahoma Tornado Victims
The devastation and tragic loss of life in the Oklahoma City suburbs is absolutely heart-wrenching. The entire community is continuing to dig through rubble to find loved ones, and to start to pick up the pieces after the devastating storms. Many relief organizations have started to get the message out on how to help the tornado victims. After Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player Kevin Durant pledged $1 million to the efforts, fundraising efforts have increased.Red Cross. The American Red Cross has been busy setting up shelters in several Oklahoma communities. You can donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts online, and Red Cross has suggested that individuals give blood at local blood banks or hospitals to help the tornado victims. If you are searching for a loved one or family member, use the Red Cross’s Safe & Well site, created to help spread the word on missing parties after a natural disaster. To send a $10 donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund by text message, text the word REDCROSS to 90999. This donation will appear on your cell phone bill, or will be deducted from your balance, for your own tax purposes. Of course, to text a donation, you must be at least 18 years old, or have a parent’s permission. Similarly, the Red Cross will accept frequent flier miles as donations, as Delta, United Airlines, and US Airways have a partnership with the Red Cross. A donation of frequent flier miles can get help, volunteers, and staff to essential locations during natural disasters. To reach the Red Cross by phone, dial 1-800-REDCROSS; or, for Spanish speakers, call 1-800-257-7575. Oklahoma Strong Disaster Relief Fund. The State of Oklahoma, along with the United Way of Central Oklahoma, has established the Oklahoma Strong Disaster Relief Fund. This fund will help with all long-term emotional, medical, and educational needs of tornado victims. To donate to this fund, visit unitedwayokc.org, or call 1-405-236-8441.Regional Food Bank. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, together with the Oklahoma Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, is seeking monetary donations to help feed the tornado victims. To donated, visit the food bank’s website, or to give $10, text FOOD to 32333. To reach the food bank by phone, call 1-405-972-1111.The Salvation Army. Salvation Army has organized disaster response teams to serve heavily damaged areas hit in central Oklahoma, including Moore. The relief efforts include sending mobile kitchens that serve an estimated 2,500 meals a day. To donated to this cause, visit salvationarmyusa.org, or text STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation on your mobile phone. You can reach the Salvation Army by phone, dial 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief. The Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is putting all donations towards laundry services, tree removal services, and meals to the tornado victims. Clothing has been deemed as unnecessary, but monetary donations are welcome. To find out more, and to donate, visit Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief’s website. Checks can be made out to BGCO, and sent to 3800 N. May Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK., 73112. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Oklahoma community in the wake of this tragic storm.