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As we all sit in shock taking in the devastation and loss that has affected thousands upon thousands of people in Oklahoma, we might feel helpless. The natural instinct for so many is to want to get out and do something to help. No matter where you live in the country, you actually CAN help.
You may start seeing collection centers where you can drop off items. The things that people need to remember to donate include water, non-perishable items, diapers, formula, baby food and pet food. If you can find one of these close to your home, it is certainly a great and simple way to help. Remember, you can buy a 24 pack of water for less than $5 – so why not do something simple to help someone else out as I am sure others would be there for you if the shoe was on the other foot.
If you want to do something right now, monetary donations might be the way to go. There are several organizations you can contact and make a donation to them to help pay for their relief efforts directly. Below are several of them. As I learn of more, I will add to the list. Remember that the need will be beyond the next week or two — it will continue for months and months as these families work hard to pick up the pieces and start over.
Of course, the simplest — and least expensive — thing you can do is pray. Simply take a moment to pray for them. Pray for the responders who are searching for victims. Pray for the parents and others who have lost family members. Pray for those who have lost everything they own. Prayer is a powerful thing.
Red Cross: You can make a cash donation to the Red Cross to help victims on both sides of the state line by heading to their site and donating. You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 instantly or donate blood at your local branch.
Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. You can make a donation online or just text FOOD to 32333 and instantly donate $10.
Disaster Relief Oklahoma. You can help at this time by making monetary donations as they are not accepting anything at this time.
Heart to Heart International: This is a company based out of Olathe, KS. You can donate online at www.hearttoheart.org, calling 913-764-5200, or mailing it to 401 S. Clairborne, Suite 302, Olathe, KS 66062. You can also sign up to volunteer if you have medical training — call 913-764-5200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also put together hygiene kits — get more information on Heart to Heart’s website at www.hearttoheart.org.
Americares. You can mke a donation to this organization online through their website.
Salvation Army. You can submit a check to the Salvation Army to help with relief efforts. The information is available to donate online or you can mail a check to the address provided.
Humane Society: You can make a donation to help the animals affected by the storm.
Operation BBQ Relief: Another site where you can make a monetary donation. (Thank you John).
Local Drop Offs: These are starting to come up all over the place. Check with your local community to find one close to where you live.
I know that there are MANY more ways to donate and help — I’ve listed only a few here. Thank you all for you warm and giving hearts.