As my regular readers know, Friday Links are a regular feature, usually my chance to show off all the stellar internet reading I've done. But my mind can't tear away from the Oklahoma tornado aftermath. It is my plan to return to regular HH programming next week, but I do hope to continue with updates from the heartland.
Well, this certainly wasn't the week Oklahomans expected. So much fear and pain, so much damage. But as the stories of pure miracles trickle in, the tales of heroes and tireless volunteers, it balms the soul just a little. There is hurt and heartbreak and billions of dollars worth of destruction. But there have been moments not of despair. It is my hope that we can cling to those.
Look closely at some of these photos. There are still pictures on walls that have been torn away, plates and cups in cupboards with no kitchen around them. Tornadoes are a strange monster.
My sister and her four children live in south Oklahoma City and her kids go to Moore schools. We are so thankful that they are safe and their house is fine, but so much of their community is flattened. My sister lived in Moore during the May 3, 1999 tornado, too, so this is town is no stranger to rebuilding.
Not that it makes it any better. I'm not sure there is anything that could make it better.
There are ways to make it more manageable, though. While I fully respect the work of the Red Cross, when you donate online or via text, your donation goes to a general disaster fund. If you want to ensure that your contribution goes directly to the relief of the Oklahoma tornado victims, please use one of the ways below:
Feed the Children. I have contacts that work with this OKC-based national organization and they are equipped to do the work.
World Vision. I have worked with World Vision and know that they are committed to helping. You can make a donation here, and my contacts working with WV in Moore are looking for volunteers. Click here for more information. (They're partnering with Hillsdale College, volunteers need to be local or at least already have lodging. If you're in need, you can receive a hot meal, clothes, water, toiletries, diapers, shoes, etc by coming to Hillsdale. It's located at 3701 S. Frontage Road in Moore.)
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief. This keeps getting recommended to me as an organization who was immensely important in the recovery after the 1999 tornado. Donations to their program go directly to local relief.
Oklahoma City Community Foundation. Recommended by people I trust, 100% of your donation goes to aid those impacted by the storm and tornado.
Via facebook, twitter, and Instagram, I've learned of some really cool things going on. Local businesses donating extra supplies or all the profits from certain sales. Photographers and cooks and contractors are donating their time and skills to the recovery effort.
I'm always proud to be an Oklahoman, but seeing the way this state responds when people are hurting...well, I've never been so glad to call it my first home.
**photos courtesy of World Vision and Miranda Kaye Wiley (volunteer)