February 10, 2008

Tornado Relief

Images courtesy of Mario E. Page

Living in Chicago, and especially the state of Illinois, I have seen my fair share of tornados. Just last summer the sirens went off. Crouching in the basement with family members and the dog, you really become in tune with just how small and insignificant we are to our planet. Many of our neighbors this past February 8th 2008 were unaware of the danger, or did not have enough time to get safe as this storm came on so quickly and ferociously.

We have been disaster ridden lately, our economy is deflated, and we are most certainly stressed out from these elections ~ but while we are tempted to make our voices heard, contributing here and there to different candidates ~ let's not forget our suffering brothers and sisters. None of us may have spare change, but you would become such the believer when you see how far $10 can go in the face of disaster.

Think about what you spend to treat yourself. If everyone gave up just one cup of coffee! Honestly, I was travelling through the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru yesterday out of desperation. I was literally falling asleep and I LOVE their machine dispensed cappaccinos. It has been a while because I have committed myself to saving when I can. So, when that lady said $3.46, I was screamed out "WHAT???" A cup of coffee is as much as a gallon of premium gas? WHAT! Desperate, and to avoid holding up the line, well I could have driven off, but like I said I was desperate, I vowed to keep my coffeee cup stocked in the car on weekends or carry a thermos from now on!

I will recover from that, and I then plan to donate 3 coffee visits to the American Red Cross toward the latest Tornando Relief Fund. Current relief services are stretched and depleting the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. This fund is not a reserve; it is a working fund that needs continued replenishment when disaster strikes. As this tornado season and hurricane season approaches, one large storm could deplete the balance of the fund completely. GET THAT?? None of the SEASONS have officially approached! SO let's help them gain a foothold! Per the American Redcross, a comfortable threshold for the fund is $56 million. You can make a secure online credit card donation or call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.

You may also offer relief through Antioch United Methodist Church. Here is a brief message from their site:

Here is a message sent from the Memphis Conference Disaster Relief Team: MEMPHIS ANNUAL CONFERENCE-- DISASTER RELIEF HOTLINE For all inquiries... including requests for assistance and/or offers to provide assistance. Please call this number beginning Monday, Feb. 11. Call: 1-877-664-2204 (Monday-Friday, 9:00 A.M.- 4:00 P.M.) Sack lunches will be needed after Wednesday, Feb. 13. Please call Disaster Hotline to offer assistance through volunteers or teams and to request assistance if needed. Bishop Richard Wills has authorized a disaster relief appeal. You may send your donations through your local United Methodist congregation. DONATIONS: Memphis Conference Disaster Relief, 24 Corporate Blvd., Jackson, Tennessee 38305-2315. ** In Jackson/Madison County, 577 Homes damaged or destroyed... approximately 100 businesses.
Thanks again for all of the prayers!!

Let me know if there are other relief efforts we should consider supporting!This disaster affected FIVE states! 60 tornadoes burrowed through Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky. Many families need help today.

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