I woke up this morning before my alarm went off, my first thought of the children still not found in the rubble at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma. It is hard to think about anything else, and I just can’t imagine posting about anything else. For me, Oklahoma is far away but my own children are the age of those victims. It shakes me to my core. I want to DO something. I can’t make it go away or make it better, but I want to do what little I can to help.
So here is me doing that. I am collecting ways to help here, and if I missed some please leave comments with any and all details you have (including links if there is a website, post or page with more information).
Blog, tweet, update, plus and share any way you can
One thing that is wonderful about the influence of bloggers is that we have audiences, readers and followers. One great way for you to help is to just spread the word. Write a blog post like this one (hey, it cannot possibly be written too much, as we all reach different people). If you see tweets about a way to help or a resource for finding loved ones, retweet them. Share ways to donate on Facebook and Google+.
Beyond my post, there is a great list of ways to help at U.S. News, and Cool Mom Picks has a post on how to help Oklahoma tornado victims. You can also follow hashtags such as #moore or check the updates of organizations supporting the victims such as the @redcross Twitter account. There is a Praying for Oklahoma Facebook group that is sharing a lot of information (and you can share some of those updates as well). Kelly Kincaid has a list on her Facebook wall of ways to help, and said she will keep updating it. Take just a moment to share her status with the details.
Text to donate
This is one of my favorite ways to help just because it is so simple and easy. As you can see in my screenshot above, it is just a matter of texting the right thing to the right number, and then confirming. The donation is a small one added to your cell phone bill. You can donate $10 via text three ways (and if you know of more, please add in the comments): STORM to 80888 for Salvation Army, REDCROSS to 90999 for Redcross or FOOD to 32333 for Food Bank. Just be aware that with so many donating, you might find a lag. I texted to the food bank, and didn’t see the reply until morning.
Donate or Volunteer to Help
My friend Sarah Pinnix works for Samaritan’s Purse, and she said trucks left at 5 a.m. this morning to head to Moore, OK. “We will soon begin finding homeowners who have fallen victim to the storms, and need help. Our staff and volunteers will clear debris, help them salvage what they can, repair if needed, and be a Christian support for anyone who needs. I’ll let you know when we start taking work orders and call for volunteers.” To stay posted on their work, to donate or to get updates about volunteering, see the Samaritan’s Purse Oklahoma Tornado Response page.
There are also some other religious organizations helping the victims, including Convoy of Hope (you can donate to that cause here) and Matthew 25: Ministries (they are accepting donations of cash or support items such as diapers, non-perishable food, toilet paper and more and you can find details on donating here). You can also donate to Oklahoma Baptist volunteers who are on the scene helping.
The people of Oklahoma are in my thoughts. I am sure I am missing some great resources, so PLEASE don’t hesitate to share anything else you know about… be it major charities, helpful blog posts, a status update or tweet, a great Facebook page or Twitter profile to follow, etc. in the comments below.