I was in a class yesterday when an officer told me that “Moore had been leveled.”
It took a few minutes for me to fully register what I’d just been told.
You see, Moore (Okla.) was struck by a devastating F5 tornado in 1999 that killed 41 people. It was hard for me to imagine anything like that happening again. But it has.
Since that 1999 tornado, I’ve been involved in a Disaster Relief Team with a Ministry called Ten-Four Ministries. In the last few years, we've partnered with my good friend Scott Barthelmass and his organization, the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team , when devastation hits areas around us.
We were in Joplin and Alabama two years ago (see our efforts here, and here, and here) and we learned that many of the basic needs of the first responders were not always met when disaster hits.
It became apparent that these heroes in the rubble took care of everyone else while sometimes their own families needed that same help.
I walked out of class yesterday afternoon and my phone was full with messages. After seeing the identical images I had seen a few years ago in other cities, I knew it was time to do something. I knew Scott would be calling. He did.
It is early and the “fog” of the situation makes it a little bit unclear what the specific needs will be.
We do know that one Moore officer has lost his home and vehicles and we also know that many more will be affected as additional information comes to us.
We want to help as much as possible.
Monetary donations can be sent here.
Donations are tax-deductible and, as we did in Joplin and Alabama, we will take the proceeds directly to the first responders in need.
Many think that insurance companies or organizations set up tents and hand out money to those in need. That is simply not what we found in the weeks after other devastating events.
We found the need great in those locations, and being able to hand a first responder who has lost everything funds to help them with a hotel or groceries can go a long way.
We are also working with several great companies in providing BDUs, boots, rain gear, safety vests, and gloves to the first responders.
This will help them do their job and we are thankful to Flying Cross, Blauer, Rocky Boots, Safariland, and many others for helping us help these first responders in need.
We also know that we will need much more in the days to come. If you would like to send boots, gloves, or BDUs to those in need please ship them to the following address:
Special OPS Uniforms
C/O Mr. Mitch McIntire
2921 NW 10th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73107
I’m thankful to be in a profession that takes care of our own and I am grateful to play just a small part in that. Thank you for your prayers and generosity for this horrible event in my home state.