In the wake of mass destruction and unthinkable tragedy Christians from all over the nation are uniting to help in anyway they can. People from all across the country are spreading the word of how others can help. From prayer chains, funding, offering their time, to sending in supplies. I have found one such local church in Oklahoma that is supplying temporary emergency shelter, food, supplies, and helping displaced victims to find more permanent shelter arrangements.
Journey Church of Norman Oklahoma is working tirelessly to help everyone they can. From victims of this tragedy, to the volunteers that are working in a united effort to help in the massive search and rescue operation, to the clean up of debris. They are offering temporary shelter and food for both victims and volunteers. They will need our help in order to continue helping those in need.
According to Trisha Tramel of Journey Church, these are the following things we can do to help.
Water, Gatorade, Lunch meat, bread, individually wrapped snacks, canned food, toiletries, blankets, pillows, sun screen, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, towels, sandwich bags, napkins, plastic utensils, drinks, headache medicine (over the counter only), gloves, hand sanitizer, trash bags, batteries, flashlights, diapers, baby wipes, bottle brushes, baby bathing supplies, baby formula, rakes and shovel, band aids, clothes detergent, dog food.
Housing: if you have housing that you are willing to offer for shelter to any of these families please contact the church.
Although they did not ask "walkie talkies" may be a good idea as well.
Supplies not needed:
Clothes (another organization is handling clothing as of now)
There are several options as to how you can get these items to Journey Church. They have confirmed there is a Sam's Club in the area that has not been effected by the storm, and is open with plenty of supplies. If you would like to donate money to get the supplies there faster, simply go to click on give. Make sure to state in your gift "Tornado Relief" they assure me that 100% of all donations given for tornado relief will go specifically towards "Tornado Relief".
You can mail checks to:
PO Box 722764
Norman, OK 73070
Deliver Supplies to:
3801 Journey Church Pkwy
Norman OK 73072
Donation Site: 2208 W. Hefner Rd., Oklahoma City is now a donation site for bottled water and energy/sports drinks; nonperishable items, including protein and granola bars, diapers and work gloves. Drop off items between 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, financial donations can be made online at crossingsokc.org/giving. Sign in or create an account, select “missions” and then select “disaster relief fund” to send your donation directly to tornado relief. Donation Site times:7:30 am – 7 pm, Monday-Friday.
Crossings Community Church
14600 N. Portland Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73134
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief teams are already responding to severe weather from Sunday in several locations, including Shawnee, Edmond and Little Axe, Oklahoma Baptists are assisting with recovery efforts from the tornado that hit Moore.
Those interested in helping can make a tax-deductible donation to the BGCO's Disaster Relief ministry, by visiting okdisasterhelp.com or calling 942-3800. All monies go toward disaster relief and helping victims. For photos, information and updates, visit the Oklahoma Baptists' blog at www.okdisasterhelp.com.
Donations can also be mailed to:
Attn: Disaster Relief
3800 N. May Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
While I know that The American Red Cross is one of the largest organizations that most people donate to in a time of crisis, it is my personal opinion that is the worst organization to send your money to if you want to help people on the ground that have been victimized by this storm. My reasoning for that is simple. Look at the case with Hurricane Sandy. The American Red Cross was flooded with money coming in from all over the nation, yet when it came to the people on the ground actually getting the emergency help they needed, they failed miserably.
Red Cross was slow in response, as well as didn't give the people the real help or supplies they needed. FEMA fell short of supplies and had to be fed by "Occupy Sandy". This reality check has awakened the nation for the need to support local organizations, churches, & people on the ground that are truly making a difference and saving people's lives. The most important thing is for the victims of these horrible storms to get the help they need. It has been proven time and time again, unfortunately, that neither FEMA nor the American Red Cross are capable bringing real help to those in need on a large scale. It is an important lesson to learn that we must rely on our own communities and citizens, instead of relying on corporations or government bureaucrats that take the money and fail to help in a real time of need. It is our duty as a nation to stand united as Americans.
Matthew 25:35-40 (KJV)
"For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Let's pull together and help our brothers and sisters in need.
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Oklahoma. God be ever present in your time of need.