National Guard on the scene in OklahomaThe Category 4 tornado that tore through parts of Oklahoma City, ripping apart two elementary schools as it moved through the area, has left us with images that are burned in our minds. The people of Moore, Oklahoma are hurting, and America, we should not look away. This is the time to do what we do best: to step in and help the people of Oklahoma.
They are our brothers. Our sisters. Our fellow Americans. And if a single image out of Moore broke your heart, then you should help in whatever way you can.
1. Donate to the United Way of Central Oklahoma. The non-profit already helps fund disaster relief efforts in that area, and their May Tornado Fund is being marked specifically for the victims in the Moore area.
2. Donate to Team Rubicon. This veterans' group sent volunteers to help with relief efforts after Superstorm Sandy, and now they're launching a similar effort to put boots on the ground in Oklahoma making home repairs and lending a hand wherever they can.
3. Spread the Picture Recovery Facebook Page. As relief workers pour in to help, they're finding plenty of items strewn about from the homes destroyed. What can be salvaged is being photographed and placed in a Facebook group where residents can lay claim to their belongings.
4. Send Money to the Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief. The group typically responds to disasters around the state, and this is no different. They have people on the ground, and they've promised "every penny" donated to their efforts will go to "disaster relief and helping victims."
5. Share the Safe & Well Page. The American Red Cross has set up a site for folks who are okay to register their names so friends and relatives know they're all right.
6. Donate to Global Giving. The online non-profit gets top marks from Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau, so you can feel safe knowing the Oklahoma Tornado Relief Fund is the real deal.
7. Help Feed the Children. Just $50 will deliver 375 pounds of relief supplies to Oklahoma.
8. Get a Band Together. The Bo Phillips Band, based in Stillwater, Oklahoma, has already started putting together a concert to help raise money for the victims. They're looking for musicians to perform on June 9 in Davis, Oklahoma.
9. Buy Gift Cards. People are going to need to restock their entire lives, and the folks behind Toomer's for Tuscaloosa, a non-profit group that came together after the 2011 storms in Alabama, has turned their sights on helping folks in Oklahoma. They say gift cards to Target and Wal-Mart will be a huge help for families in need, and they're collecting them.
10. Help the Tulsa Community Foundation. Another local charity, this non-profit will ensure donations stay IN Oklahoma.
What are you doing today to honor the people in Oklahoma?
Image via The National Guard/Flickr
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside