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.
In May of 2010, my house took a direct hit from a huge tornado. Following that, I applied for a FEMA grant in 2011 to build a storm shelter on campus that would be large enough for 6,000 people in Seminole and surrounding areas to take cover.
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.
That's what we saw when an EF5 tornado blew through Moore, Okla. on Monday. What do the tornado-related deaths of 24 people, including nine children, have to do with free-market conservatism?
I am not alone in being glued to the news when something awful happens. Perhaps it's because we think the outcome will change if we watch; more likely it's because we cannot fathom the horror, and have to watch again and again, ad nauseam, in order to make it real to us.
I find it hard to say the word "safe" this week without thinking about the anti-gay hate crimes that have been occurring in our community this year. I have reacted strongly to these acts, but I know that, in this case, I am like the New Yorkers who have never been directly affected by tornadoes.
During Irene I learned so much about what was and was not helpful during a natural disaster. With the recent destruction in Oklahoma, I offer these five suggestions to people of faith who wish to respond.
Gathered in the faculty-in-residence apartment in one of the university's residence halls, a few students, staff and I watched the local TV coverage of the twister as it slowly built momentum and turned from a mild storm to a giant two-mile monster tornado that wreaked havoc leaving a path of destruction in its trail.
Tornadoes do not leave an identity to define our sorrow and struggle around, and closure cannot be as complete. They only leave destruction before pulling back and vanishing into the sky. This ability to turn the lack of closure into a passion to improve is what sets Oklahomans apart.
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I was born and bred in Oklahoma. I make my living as an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney. Tornadoes have been a part of my entire life. Hell, my high school mascot was a "red tornado."
Policymakers hoping to find meaningful offsets to fund disaster aid will have look at: 1) Where there's a lot of money, 2) where the spending is unjustifiable, and 3) where the politics and public opinion are conducive to allowing cuts, since there are very few areas in which that's true.
Her arms hung around my neck, her warm breath on my cheek. And in that darkness, I wept. I wept for the pain the people in Oklahoma felt. I wept happy tears, thankful to have my family close by, and I wept because I knew these quiet moments with my baby asleep on me were numbered.
The important thing to know is that children take their coping cues from us, the trusted adults in their lives. This isn't to say that we should cover our emotions. Not at all. Rather, we need to model healthy coping mechanisms for our children.