I was born, raised, and attended college in Oklahoma. You’d think that over twenty years living in a state prone to natural disasters would prepare me for the devastation I am seeing from the images coming out of Oklahoma. Years of learning how to duck and cover… to roll into a ball, covering your neck and head with your arms, in a room with no windows or furniture that can fall. Years of SEEING the devastation first hand. Years of actual loss. None of that prepared me for the images coming from my friends and family this past week.
And, it is still coming. Two days of tornados, a small day of reprieve and now today they are experiencing rain and flooding. It just doesn’t stop.
I’ve spent the last week in fear for the lives of my friends and family. Then sad at the physical loss that my friends are dealing with in the aftermath of the tornado. Upset at the loss of life that many people are trying to deal with now. It is hard to know what to say.
My home town, Shawnee, Oklahoma, was one of the first towns decimated my this year’s tornadoes. My friends lost their homes. An entire trailer park that I spent a large portion of my childhood hanging out in is now completely gone. The next day my family in Moore, Oklahoma were huddled in shelters, schools, and homes waiting out another big storm. They are now without power or water.
I am SO thankful that my friends and family made it out of this mess in one piece. Many people did not. I’m so thankful that my family did not experience any huge property loss. But, many people’s families lost everything. The people who have lost are typically those who cannot afford to lose.
I’ve seen a lot of people pouring out their support for those that have lost in Oklahoma. Please, please, please— if you are able and willing to give— give to the causes that are going to try to benefit all of those who have lost in Oklahoma… not just one town. A lot of outpouring has been going to Moore (which desperately need it) but other towns and people who have lost are not receiving that same outpouring of aid and volunteers. They too are in need.
I’m so proud to say that I am from Oklahoma. I love living here in Oregon and call Portland home now… but, Oklahoma is where my heart is and that is where it will remain.
If you are able, please give to the recovery efforts in Oklahoma. Below are some ways you can give:
Thank you for reading. And, don’t forget about Oklahoma. They will be in recovery for some time.