As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17
As I talked with others in my church about the storms in Texas and Oklahoma, I heard others sharing about storms that they had weathered. While at first it would seem that we were off-topic and were not "sharpening" each other, we were really learning from each other how it felt to go through a storm, what help we needed, and what had encouraged us. By talking it
through, we were discovering ways that we could be helpful to the storm victims. Here is our list of ways that we could help:
1. We can pray for the storm victims, their safety, their comfort, their physical and emotional needs, and their openness to the heart-peace that comes from God.
2. We can let the storm victims know that others are praying for them. We can send a letter or e-mail to the local churches in Moore, OK, Cleburne, TX, Granbury, TX, and Acton, TX to express our concern for them and signed by the group of people who gathered to pray for them.
3. Those of us who live near the Texas towns can volunteer to help with relief efforts. In Texas, there has been a need for volunteers to man phone calls coming into relief agencies and for helpers to pass out water and other supplies.
4. We can donate money to the Red Cross, and we can conduct money raising activities to raise additional funds. People who wish to make a donation can support American Red Cross Disaster Relief, which helps provide food, shelter and
emotional support to those affected by disasters like the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas as well as disasters big and small throughout the United States by visiting redcross.org, dialing 1-800-REDCROSS or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
5. The Salvation Army is bringing in mobile kitchens to feed people in Moore. We can donate funds to purchase food for the mobile kitchens. Supporters can donate online via the organization's website, SalvationArmyUSA.org. You can also text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation via cellphone. If you want to send a check, the Salvation Army asks that 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.
6. Our children could send pencils, paper, and other school supplies as well as supportive cards to the Moore, OK school district.
7. We could donate blood at the local blood bank.
8. We can make prayer quilts for people in shelters.
9. There are many other relief organizations that are responding to the disaster areas; many are faith based organizations. All these groups are in need of monetary donations. Here is a web address where you can read about the organizations and their needs: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/20/18381508-how-to-help-oklahoma-tornado-victims?lite
10. We can send teams with trucks, trailers, and chainsaws to help remove debris. Each community has an organization that is coordinating debris removal. You can read more about that here: https://www.facebook.com/GranburyCleburneInfoRecovery?ref=nf