May 28, 2013 § Leave a comment
After Moore, Oklahoma met disaster in the form of a deadly twister last week, an excellent post came from Ed Stetzler’s LifeWay Research Blog: Oklahoma Tornadoes and Beyond, 5 Ways to Get Involved in Disaster Relief. He makes the point that there are effective ways to help and there and counterproductive ways to try. Churches or other groups may have the idea that they should pack a van and trailer with donations and eager teens and drive to the disaster area looking for a way to help or a place to unload their donations. But “when it comes to disaster relief, don’t follow your heart, follow the direction of those already engaged.” The reality is that monetary donations to relief efforts already in place (and there are many established and reputable relief agencies) are better than volunteers.
Along these lines, an opportunity came up late last week with a girl named Destiney from our church youth group, who called me asking for ideas on how to raise money for an iPod Shuffle. I am not a professional fundraiser, but to a 16 year old, I must seem like I know a few things. In the wake of the Oklahoma disaster, I suggested that she channel that fundraising energy to help tornado victims in that region. Destiney has run track, so I offered to buy her the iPod Shuffle if she raised $300 for the American Red Cross relief efforts in Oklahoma by running a race and collecting sponsorships. I designed her a logo and flyer (Destiney’s Run For Moore 1OK) and set up an nice and easy fundraiser through CrowdRise.com where anyone can donate to her cause (including you).
To me the cost of a cheap iPod, and the Oklahoma state flag I’m going to make her carry, is well worth turning a teen’s personal wants into an opportunity to serve her afflicted neighbors while getting 6.2 miles of exercise—and an iPod—out of it.