October 31, 2014

Be careful how you help

In the aftermath of the devastating tornado in Oklahoma, everyone wants to help. Americans are long known as the most generous people in the world, and it shows every time there’s a disaster. It really shows in Gardner.
The tornado in Oklahoma will likely see similar results. Even as we put this paper to bed in the immediate aftermath of the event, groups are coordinating to take items to Oklahoma.
It’s a wonderful sight to behold. But we want to caution those rushing to Oklahoma. Before you haul a truck down there with supplies, find someone on the other end who can collect and disperse your truck load.
First responders right now are desperately searching for survivors. They don’t have time to direct a steady flow of traffic down roads that are not yet clear.
Following the Joplin tornado, authorities turned trucks away from the city. All around its edges, piles of donated clothes and other items sat on roadsides, spoiling and mildewing in the weather. There were too many clothes, and nowhere to store them or sort them.
Right now, the residents who’ve lost everything are needing shelter. Workers are also requesting work gloves, shovels and things to assist in the clean-up.
Find a place on the other end that needs the things you’re planning to donate. We suggest a local church or local civic organization that can detail exactly what it is they need and how much they can take.
And if that fails, there’s nothing wrong with sending money to an organization that you trust.
Be careful how you help, so you don’t add to their problems.

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