How you can help the Oklahoma tornado victims

I cannot even imagine the stress and grief of the Oklahoma parents as they try to find their children in the rubble of two elementary schools hit by tornadoes on Monday.

There was an awful description in an AP story:

“A man with a megaphone stood Monday evening near St. Andrews United Methodist Church and called out the names of surviving children. Parents waited nearby, hoping to hear their sons’ and daughters’ names.”

I feel so terrible for those families and wanted to share ways that we can help victims of the tornadoes.

From USA Today:

“American Red Cross

The American Red Cross has several shelters open in Oklahoma and Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles have begun delivering hot meals throughout the affected areas. The Red Cross is also working to link loved ones in Moore who are OK through a website called Safe and Well. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, donate online, or donate by phone at 1-800-RED CROSS.

“Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is activating disaster response teams and mobile feeding units to help residents and rescuers in Moore, Okla., as well as in other locations in the Plains and the Midwest that were impacted by tornadoes. Donate online or text STORM to 80888 to contribute $10 to the Salvation Army’s relief efforts or make a donation by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY. If you’re sending a check make sure you put the words “Oklahoma Tornado Relief” on the check, and mail it to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK., 73157.

“Operation USA

Los Angeles-based international relief agency Operation USA announced it’s providing emergency aid where needed to community-based health organizations across Oklahoma. Donate online at www.opusa.org, by phone at 1-800-678-7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, 7421 Beverly Blvd., PH, Los Angeles, CA 90036. You can also donate $10 by texting AID to 50555. Corporate donations of bulk quantities of disaster-appropriate supplies are also being requested.

“Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief says it has deployed at least 80 volunteers to respond to severe weather in Oklahoma. Those interested in helping can make a tax-deductible donation to the BGCO’s Disaster Relief ministry online or call (405) 942-3800. You may also send checks to: BGCO Attn: Disaster Relief 3800 N. May Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73112.”

59 comments Add your comment

Beth Lines

May 21st, 2013
1:13 am

Enter your comments here
I would love to volunteer my time to help the victims. please email me with what I can do. I am willing to travel and have nursing experience.

Common Sense

May 21st, 2013
7:34 am

Take the opportunity to make sure your family knows what to do in case a tornado is headed their way right here in GA. Use this as a teaching moment as well while you are helping out the victims in Oklahoma. Use it as an educational opportunity to research and learn more about tornadoes, how they form, and also historical data on their paths through the US and even here in GA. Most folks don’t live in highly tornado-prone areas of the state. It can be reassuring to know that. Some do, and it should bring heightened awareness to know that too. Don’t count on the schools to educate you kids on this subject. Make it a family exercise combined with preparedness – you never know when a disaster might strike.

Tom Taylor

May 21st, 2013
7:45 am

My wife and I want to volunteer and will join others from our church in Melbourne florida when we can be of the most benefit. I read about St. Andrews United Methodist being near the scene and hope to make a connection.

FCM

May 21st, 2013
7:57 am

Food and clean water will the most important things right now. For the victims, for the workers, pets, for everyone. Blood too.

Also think about baby food, diapers, pet food for the animal shelters.

There will be many places willing to take the donations, so think about doing those things. I would imagine the Red Cross, Publix…those that have set up donation sites in the past will do it again.

Common Sense

May 21st, 2013
8:00 am

Here is a great site that shows all the tornadoes that have hit GA since 1950:

http://www.tornadohistoryproject.com/tornado/Georgia

motherjanegoose

May 21st, 2013
8:24 am

My comment is awaiting moderation…we will see if it makes it!

Drexel Gal

May 21st, 2013
8:25 am

It is a sad indicator of today’s sensibilities that an article titled “How you can help the Oklahoma tornado victims” begins with the word, “I”, and goes on to state how the WRITER feels. This writer must have been influenced by Bill and Hillary Clinton, who always talk about THEMSELVES when discussing or comemmorating an event in history.

Note to writer (read and heed): THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

Christy

May 21st, 2013
8:35 am

Theresa,

Incredible – write around 40 words, cut – paste… is this what you teach in your class? Its just lazy. What grade would you give yourself today on effort?

renee

May 21st, 2013
8:39 am

I would love to come and help anyway I can and get my community involved here to help contribute. I can help with just about anything. Thanks

Waldo Sighs

May 21st, 2013
8:50 am

Question of the day, which journalism school is worse: UGA’s or ASU’s where students apparently pay to be taught by TWG?

Durga Yerramilli

May 21st, 2013
8:55 am

I would like to Volunteer remotely, if that isa possibility. PLease let me know how can I help in raising funds, or Food items etc.

K's Mom

May 21st, 2013
9:03 am

Goodness gracious…TWG has provided info that many are looking for today and you people are criticizing. Give me a break.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief is another great organization and all donations go 100% to relief because administration is done by the general conference of the church.

And TWG, thank you for posting this information. Those of us who read the blog and have hearts appreciate it.

motherjanegoose

May 21st, 2013
9:11 am

@ K’s Mom…thanks for that info. When someone is trying to help, why are people so hateful?
I do not understand.

apryle zeigler

May 21st, 2013
9:28 am

I know I do not live nearby, but I have an extra bedroom and food to help anyone or a family that is in need of shelter. I live between Springtown and Weatherford Texas. Email me! :) Prays are with all of yall.

DB

May 21st, 2013
9:32 am

Warning: This is a rant, and it’s been building for a while . . .

I am sick to death of you folks who dip into this blog for no other reason than to sneer at TWG, flaunt your so-called superiority, sophistication and general know-it-all-ness, and think that doing so makes you look clever, urbane and smart.

It doesn’t. It makes you look mean-spirited, snarky and rude. And pretty boring, too, since you obviously have NO life and have to go out of your way to come on to this blog to find something to bitch about.

You cowards. You hide behind your anonymity to hurl hurtful pot-shots over the fence at TWG, smug in the certainty that with an anonymous name, you can throw good manners out the window and be as bitchy as you please. It’s a BLOG, ok? It’s not the front page of the New York Times, and it’s not a magnum opus or a Pulitzer Prize contender. It’s free-style, free-wheeling, and the kind of things that people chat about over coffee: “Did you see that article on . . .?” Sometimes it does gets personal, and for that, I applaud her, because there is no way in hell I would open up my parenting style, my marriage and my children to some of the sharks that circle here. If you don’t care for the blog, there are thousands of others out there. Or go start your own — people do it every day. But you DON’T pay her salary — hell, you probably don’t even pay for an AJC, anyway. You DON’T get to “co-write” or edit this blog.

Remember what your grandmother used to say: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, just shut up.” Posters jump on here and tear her apart almost daily over tiny grammar errors, over her choice of topics, and now criticize her job performance as a teacher in a school 2,000 miles away? Really, folks? That’s your “Aha!” moment of the day?

Well, as a gently-raised Southern lady, all I have to say is “Well, bless your heart . . .”

The information TWG provided today was timely and useful. And isn’t she saying, in writing, what we all felt while reading the accounts of the tornado? “Omigod, I would have been dying inside if I had been standing there waiting for them to call out my child’s name.” In this venue, she’s not a reporter, ok? It’s a BLOG. She’s allowed to interject personal reactions.

Please — stop with the never-ending critical analysis of each and every blog.

Denise

May 21st, 2013
9:42 am

@TWG – Thank you for putting this information out there. I understand your sadness. I am also sad and was scared for those kids last night. I cannot imagine what those babies are thinking and feeling right now. And the parents. The pain they must be in is astounding.

@K’s mom – how do we donate to the United Methoidist Committee on Relief?

I just moved to Fort Worth, TX last month and we had a tornado last week. Was not anywhere near as devastating but from what I hear there are frequent tornados here. I never paid much attention to the weather in TX and OK but in these flat areas tornados are very common. It’s scary.
Last night we had terrible wind and a high risk of a hail storm (also frequent) and were told to stay away from windows. This did NOT happen in Atlanta!

Becky

May 21st, 2013
9:59 am

Can we get a round of applause for DB? You nailed it to a tee..It is her blog therefore I wouldn’t expect her to keep saying, DB’s this or DB’s that..I love this blog as do a lot of the regulars and like you said, I don’t know that I could post a blog like Theresa does and pretty much tell everyone my day to day life..Love that she is able to do that..Yes, we have all at some point told her that she need to relax more and calm down, but she is still the Theresa that we have all come to love..

Like MJG said, Theresa is trying to get some people to help and give them info as to where they can go to send things or help..So STOP being such a p*ss pot people..Life is way to short to sit around thinking of silly things to nickpick on..Keep up the good work Theresa..

Betty

May 21st, 2013
10:04 am

Thank you for posting this today–and for those of you who have chimed in with ways/ideas that are helpful. This tragedy is indeed on all our minds and I’m sure that we can all relate to the emotions that Theresa is experiencing–that’s one reason I tune into this blog when tragedy strikes–even when it is in another state. We’re an online community of people and parents who care. Keep spreading the information on organizations who are on the front lines helping people in need–so that we can all support them financially from afar.

catlady

May 21st, 2013
10:09 am

Theresa, your kind heart shines through this difficult time!

janice

May 21st, 2013
10:13 am

@DB – YEAH!!!!

i was glad to see where Theresa posted the info about helping.

a friend at my church is from joplin, mo and they are still in process of rebuilding. it took a year just to remove all the rubble and debris. the hospital in joplin was finally rebuilt and opened. it takes a while. so often, when something happens, everyone is there to help right away, but you know, remember 6 mos or a year later. people will still need help. just look at the homes on the jersey shore that are still in process of being repaired. a lot of the delays are caused from insurance companies not playing claims quickly or fighting the claim.

i think we all need to be extremely educated as to what our insurance will cover. just because you have insurance does not mean the company will cover. and fema, well that’s not free. friend of mine in NJ found that out. media comes across like fema money is free money. nope, fema is a low-interest loan that will be paid back, generally 6 mos after the application and funds are approved.

we all need to help each other and just start being nicer to one another. so much self-centeredness in the world today.

as the charities say, money is what is needed to purchase supplies to help the victims. but remember the charity 6 months later and remember to send some more help, if you are able to do so.

catlady

May 21st, 2013
10:17 am

Great words, DB!

janice

May 21st, 2013
10:20 am

by the way, today is the 100 anniversary of the red cross.

buckheadgirl

May 21st, 2013
10:33 am

Catholic Charities USA is also providing assistance.

motherjanegoose

May 21st, 2013
10:33 am

Thanks DB for putting into words what I have been thinking. I have always thought it is easier to complain about something than to make a meaningful contribution. Others may not get that concept.

Mayhem

May 21st, 2013
10:34 am

@DB – APPLAUSE APPLAUSE APPLAUSE!!!!!

That was BY FAR the BEST post I have read in a very long time!!!! Thank you.

missnadine

May 21st, 2013
10:56 am

To those who are asking specific directions on where to donate: Have you not heard of something called the INTERNET and GOOGLE to get information about the location of a church, or other links in order to help? TWG included the main areas – it is up to YOU to take it from there.

Becky

May 21st, 2013
10:59 am

To all of those complaing about Theresa, did you stop to remember how good you have it? Your house wasn’t blown away, your kids (if you have any) are home safe an sound..Not only did these folks lose most everything that they had, they just have gotten back on their feet from the tornado that struck almost the same place in 1999..

missnadine

May 21st, 2013
11:09 am

Please also remember th 4-legged victims by making a donation to a rescue group or humane society. I did find this link on PetFinder: http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/OK115.html.

I looked on spca.org and humanesociety.org but those are national groups. I like to donate to the smaller groups, as a greater % of money gets used directly to help the animals.

shs

May 21st, 2013
11:51 am

DB, thank you so much for saying what so many of us have been thinking. Waldo Sighs and some of the other people who contribute nothing but negativity make themselves look mean and rude. Could they come up with earth-shaking topics every day? Probably not–it is easier to complain and whine about the job someone else is doing. I enjoy Theresa’s blog–as well as Maureen’s and several others on the AJC. It is a sad commentary on our society when being anonymous brings out such meanness.

ssidawg

May 21st, 2013
12:13 pm

DB- Thanks for saying what I’ve been thinking!

real life

May 21st, 2013
12:16 pm

Common Sense is right. In addition to doing what we can to help, this is truly a teachable moment. Make a disaster plan and learn it. Rehearse it. And, as a veteran of a number of major hurricanes, put important documents together in a water proof safe or store them at the bank in a safe deposit box. Tornadoes do develop faster than hurricanes but you can plan, rehearse and make sure papers you must have are in as safe a place as possible.

real life

May 21st, 2013
12:21 pm

I notice that DB is hiding behind anonymity to criticize those unhappy with this blog. Seems that it is okay for you to strike at people whose opinions you do not like, but not okay for them to do the same thing. The pot and the kettle…….

Denise

May 21st, 2013
12:22 pm

DB – Thank you! I’m sick of the meanness, myself. I come to this blog every day because I (mostly) like the people here and love to read the comments on subjects I’m just not talking about anywhere else. I don’t care about a misspelled word or a misplaced comma or apostrophe. I care about content from Theresa and the posters. If you don’t like it, leave.

Truth

May 21st, 2013
12:38 pm

If you were to tape 5 dollars to this blog and its regulars and toss it in the river, you would only be out 5 bucks.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 21st, 2013
12:45 pm

The AJC has posted a links where you can click directly to donate — Here is the link to that page

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/disasters/help-oklahoma-tornado-victims/nXx4s/

I love the idea of giving blood. I am going to look for a place to do that here and try to go today. Needles don’t bother me and I don’t mind giving blood. Plus my weight is always heavy enough!! If you don’t mind the needles (My husband totally cannot do this!!) giving blood is a great way to help.

DB

May 21st, 2013
12:58 pm

@real life. I’m not that anonymous. Several people on this blog have corresponded with me and know my real name, and I have friends who do refer to me as “DB”. (No, not Debbie). Most important, TWG knows exactly who I am, has both of my emails.

K's Mom

May 21st, 2013
2:25 pm

Thanks DB for saying what many have been thinking for a while.

@Denise, you can go to http://www.umcor.org to donate.

Erin

May 21st, 2013
2:29 pm

I posted something in support of DB’s 9:32, but it’s not showing up … am I caught in the filter?

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 21st, 2013
2:39 pm

Hey DB — i sent you a note via FB — check it later –

FCM

May 21st, 2013
2:48 pm

DB– I totally get what you are saying and mostly support it. I do get that your “rant” was not directed at me, but I do admit to have wondered if the blog was still something TWG enjoyed.

I don’t care that she cuts and pastes. Nor do I care about her errors.

I do miss the antedotes but the kids are older now. TWG has said Walsh has asked not be in the blog. I know my kids don’t mind being in here b/c their names are not Susie and Jane and mine is not FCM. I have always said that FCM is to protect them not me.

Like DB said above, TWG has my real name and email. I have corresponded via FB and email with her. She is fantastic to talk with and a dedicated Mom.

K's Mom

May 21st, 2013
3:58 pm

One thing we as parents should discuss on this type of forum is how to “label” your children should your family be hit by a storm of this magnitude. My 3yo and I were visiting my parents in April of 2011 when the storms hit Alabama and we were a quarter of a mile from total destruction. One of my mom’s neighbors laid on top of her 5yo as their house blew away around them. Since then, when we have had a tornado warning, I have labeled both boys’ arms and diapers with their name, dob, my cell, husband’s cell, and my parent’s phone number. I am also getting ready to order a runner’s ID bracelet (sort of like medic alert) for each child to put on them in case of a tornado heading our way since we now live in tornado alley. I will also use the bracelets when we go places like Disney World where we could get separated. It breaks my heart to think of babies being separated from their families for any length of time and this is the solution we came up with should it happen to us.

catlady

May 21st, 2013
4:30 pm

Ks mom: I had never thought of that! Will mention to my daughter. Thanks!

catlady

May 21st, 2013
4:35 pm

Of course, it might make your kids fearful every,time you pick up a marker. LOL

Peter the Great

May 21st, 2013
6:16 pm

Ah, the response from DB – please… give me a break. When I read a blog from a college graduate in journalism who also teaches at a college level – yes, I will speak out about her garbage. The errors, the non-proof reading… elementary mistakes. Most importantly the topics often times are simply cut – and – paste. So Theresa teaches this to college level students??? She wouldn’t get a C for the junk she puts up and her lack of effort is really starting to show.

Hey DB – I do pay her bills honey. You see, Theresa gets paid by ads… companies look at home many individual daily visits this website gets – and it effects the rates they charge for ad space. I have a right to complain – I’m her audience.

Theresa has all her kids in school now… she teaches part time… she has more time to invest into this blog and her lack of efforts show.

Fact is a fact, DB.

Peter the Great

May 21st, 2013
6:18 pm

And Theresa – put some effort into topics on this blog. You use to be funny and share many things… move away from cut and paste please.

Joni

May 21st, 2013
6:31 pm

DB –

I share the frustrations others have with Theresa. I have been on this blog daily for 5 years and I can sum up everyone’s frustrations: Its the decline in quality of this blog and her lack of attention to it. Theresa is obviously running out of steam and it shows. If I were a student of hers and looked up her blog I would seriously question her credentials and why am I spending money to take her class.

DB, the decline in this blog is obvious, don’t you agree?

K's Mom

May 21st, 2013
7:39 pm

@catlady, so far we have only had to write on our children twice. That is why I am going to order the bracelets to avoid fear of the marker ;o)!

I guess the complainers on the blog strike me as somewhat pathetic. If you don’t like something, move on. I am an Auburn grad and am constantly amazed at the Alabama fans that hang out on Aurn blogs talking about what hillbillies and rednecks Auburn fans are. Those that continue to complain about this blog seem like the same kind of people…devoid of class and do not have enough to do….

K's Mom

May 21st, 2013
7:40 pm

That should say Auburn blogs, not sure how that happened…

tony churhill

May 21st, 2013
9:09 pm

want to volunteer my time to help rebuild and with any other effort to help rebuild the community

Observer

May 21st, 2013
9:30 pm

Great post DB! FYI, @Peter the Great, your first paragraph at 6:16 pm discusses errors, non-proof reading and elementary mistakes. Review your second paragraph. You are guilty of the same you charge TWG. LOL. If any don’t like this blog, move on. A very simple remedy.