Friday, May 24, 2013

Oklahoma heroes

The horrific news from Oklahoma this week was both heartbreaking and frightening and the morning after we are seeing just how bad it was.  Estimated to be at least two miles wide at one point, a tornado struck the town of Moore, just south of Oklahoma City, tearing homes apart and other buildings and causing significant and widespread damage, serious injuries, and a large number of fatalities.  The death toll continues to climb this morning.

There were instances of people taking advantage of the misfortune of others.  This kind of thing often happens.  There has also been arguing on social media about the state's US Senators and their lack of support for hurricane Sandy victims.  There has also been something we often find in tragedy - heroes - people rising to the occasion to do good.

It's always sad when folks take advantage of others, but it warms my heart to see the opposite.  Almost immediately there were grass roots efforts to help the victims.  People in Oklahoma who were spared, have been reaching out to those in need.  People have also been reaching out all over the country to offer help.  President Obama's press conference just a little while ago, told of the federal response to the recovery effort going on in Oklahoma. The American Red Cross is of course on scene and they are always a good place to donate in times like these.  The Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma has also set up a relief and assistance program.  I urge you to donate through known sources like these where you know your money is going to be put to good use.

I'm hearing wonderful stories of heroes right in the thick of things too.  We'll likely hear more. NBC News reported last night that a car had been pulled off the body of a teacher.  Several students were under her.  She had been shielding them with her body in a restroom to protect as winds gusted up to 200 mph.  The teacher and the students survived.

Knowing how many are reaching out to help - Seeing the brave people who risked their own safety to help others - Looking beyond the destruction and beholding the heroes in our midst, that makes this horror so much easier to bear.  You too can be a hero of this disaster.  Donate or volunteer.  It all helps!

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