As we help Moore, Oklahoma, recover from this tragic event, we should also be looking for opportunities to spare the next town, by advocating and implementing safer building, planning and emergency strategies before disaster strikes.
Children need a place to recover, and their parents need a safe space for them as they take on the many tasks needed to rebuild their lives. That, along with rebuilding the community itself, will take time.
There we were: 15 people -- members of the neighborhood, many of us strangers until that moment -- and my two dogs, crammed together in a small in-ground storm shelter. We listened to the radio: "The tornado is approaching 4th and Bryant." We were located off of 1st and Bryant.
Think about what it is you want your donation to accomplish and then make sure you select the charity that is doing that type of work.
If we are willing to build gymnasiums and ball fields for our children to play in, shouldn't we be willing to invest as well in their safety and welfare? We shouldn't stop at building safe rooms in areas like Moore.
It was as bad as it gets. The places we consider safe suddenly looked like a war zone. Teachers used their own bodies to shield students, keeping them safe from falling debris as an entire school collapsed upon them.
May the bereft find comfort. May there be a healing of body and soul. May acts of kindness and memory inspire us to draw out our best selves and to strive to mend a broken world.
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Nothing can mitigate the profound sadness of the deaths of dozens of people. But the families of all the victims would be right in wishing that there had been a few more miracles to go around.
When kids learn with and from each other, they can come up with constructive actions to make healing and rebuilding widespread and long-lasting.
With every weatherman on local TV screaming, "Don't get in your car," how could I possibly save my mother when I live 15 minutes away in OKC? The short, gut-wrenching decision was simple: I couldn't. Dear god, I couldn't.
Oklahomans accept that we live in a vulnerable place geographically. Moreover, we know with such geography come some very hard times. We've become good at repeating the cycle as often as necessary. We're prepared and good at it. The sum total of all this is resiliency.
Doing something about climate change is not going to help the people whose lives are already upended by tornadoes -- or floods, hurricanes and droughts. But no parent can simply throw up her hands and ignore the trouble we are racing right into.
If you're looking to help the residents of Oklahoma, here are seven ways to support the community. While youth and teens may not have their own funds to contribute towards the cause, there are many other ways to support this community in need.
I can't be silent when -- at a time of need for care, empathy, and community -- my colleagues in the Oklahoma state legislature are using the last days of session to further restrict Oklahoma women's access to health care.
Carnage and suffering in Oklahoma, for thousands of Americans who have suffered through nature's terrors -- tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, floods, and earthquakes -- is all too common.