Reflecting on the weekend

Weekends are supposed to be relaxing.  This past weekend was exhausting; so much so that I’ve been reflecting on it and am just now getting to write about it.

My son spiked a fever on Saturday.  Any of you with children know that it doesn’t matter how much you know medically- when your child is sick you are a basket case.  It broke my heart and about a million doomsday scenarios went through my head.  Thankfully it was only a fever, and broke quickly.

I am grateful every day for my childrens’ health, especially as I watch what a former coworker of mine is going through with her 6 month old, who is on the list for a heart transplant.  You can watch a news segment about them here, but let me warn you that her daughters will absolutely steal your heart.  You can follow more of her story on her CaringBridge site.

Sunday morning I awoke to the news of what occurred at our state capitol late into the night.  Our state is divided and a battle will wage.  There is nothing worse then a political fight that will divide the state, but here we go.  It tires me already.

Later that same day we spent about a half an hour in our basement, and emerged to see pictures we couldn’t believe in North Minneapolis.  The devastation is disheartening- especially to an already distressed area.  That’s when we saw Minnesotans doing what they do best- coming together to help each other.  It was a reminder of the importance of community, and neighbor helping neighbor.

Sadly, it wasn’t the worse tornado that day.  Joplin, Missouri was hit by the same system, but suffered through a tornado magnitudes stronger than the one that hit No Mpls.  It certainly puts into perspective what happened here, when so many lives were lost there.

It will be a long and difficult rebuild for the residents of both areas.  The world may not have ended on Saturday, but for many in Minnesota and Missouri it sure did on Sunday.

So in the spirit of community, and neighbor helping neighbor, I want so share ways you can help.

In Minnesota, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Authorities are urging donations of cash, not goods. Donations to the Minnesota Helps-North Minneapolis Recovery Fund may be made through credit card at www.GiveMN.org. Checks may be sent to the Minneapolis Foundation, 80 S. 8th St., Suite 800, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Donations also can be made at www.redcrosstc.org.

For volunteer opportunities, go to www.facebook.com/mplstornado.

Here are some ways you can help those in Joplin, according to USA Today:

- According to the Salvation Army, state emergency management officials have identified bottled water and monetary donations as the best ways to assist those impacted by the storm. The Kansas City Chiefs will contribute $35,000 to disaster-relief efforts, and are are teaming with the Salvation Army-Midland Division to hold a bottled-water drive at Arrowhead Stadium for individuals in Kansas City to assist victims in the tornado-ravaged areas. Bottled-water donations will be accepted in Lot C on the east side of Arrowhead Stadium on Tuesday from noon until 7 p.m. and Wednesday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Cash and check donations will also be accepted in Lot C during the above times. The Chiefs are partnering with Heart-to-Heart International for all monetary donations, going to recovery efforts in Joplin and Reading.

- The Community Foundation of Kansas City has created two funds to pool donations, which you can make donations to online – the Joplin Missouri Disaster Relief Fund and the Reading Kansas Disaster Relief Fund. Community Foundation staff will perform the due diligence to ensure that grants from both funds are awarded to organizations addressing the immediate needs of the victims of the tornadoes, such as providing food, shelter and medical care/supplies. If you would like to donate with your credit card, please call 816-842-7444.

- Convoy of Hope’s disaster response team has been in contact with emergency management officials to determine how best they can assist with responding to the disaster. The first truckload of essential supplies such as water, snacks and ready-to-eat meals was transported this morning to the Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. More supplies will be following as Convoy of Hope works with local emergency officials to determine what locations and products will best serve the response. Those wanting to help can make a secure online donation at www.convoyofhope.org or can make a $10 text donation by texting the word, CONVOY to 50555. Standard message and date rates apply.

- The Salvation Army is providing emergency relief services to survivors and first responders of the Joplin tornado. The Army has mobilized four feeding units in impacted areas of the city and are offering food and beverages. The organization is also providing relief services in other impacted cities that were hit by tornadoes over the weekend, including: Minneapolis; Reading, Kan.; and Grove and Ketchum, Okla. There are four ways to help:

  • Text the word “Joplin” to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
  • By phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY  – Joplin Tornado Relief
  • Online at: www.donate.salvationarmyusa.org
  • By mail: Send your check to:
    Joplin Tornado Relief
    The Salvation Army
    3637 Broadway
    Kansas City, MO 64111

- Red Cross emergency response vehicles are already responding in Missouri, helping to transport supplies to the shelter. Those who want to help people affected by disasters can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS; people can also text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013.

- World Vision’s disaster response director arrived in Joplin today. The organization raised its tornado response appeal to $5 million to meet additional needs in Missouri and Minnesota. To support these relief efforts, text TORNADO to 20222.

- From Feeding America, here is a link to a list of food agencies that are helping the hungry in this tornado-striken region.

For additional information and resources to help those effected by the Joplin tornado, visit Facebook.

Finally, if you want to make a donation to help the Nordlings and their daughter Regan who’s awaiting heart transplant, you can e-mail Regan’s Godmother at makaylakuhn@yahoo.com

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