B'nai B'rith International has opened its Flood, Tornado and Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund in the wake of the devastating tornado that ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on May 20, killing at least 24, injuring many more and flattening much of the town. The death toll is still expected to rise.
The funds raised will be used to help the victims of the tornado as they look to rebuild their town, which has been described by many as now resembling a war zone.
The tornado moved across a 20-mile stretch with winds of at least 200 mph. In the path of the deadly storm were a hospital and an elementary school, both of which were destroyed. Rescue workers labored throughout the night searching for survivors amongst the wreckage.
This is the third major tornado to devastate the area in the last 15 years.
"No amount of advanced warning could have prepared the people of Moore for the horrors this storm has brought. We're going to do our best to help these people get back on their feet," B'nai B'rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. "B'nai B'rith has helped disaster victims since 1865. Each disaster we help with has its own unique challenges. As always, we will carefully evaluate needs and provide assistance to address immediate needs and longer term rebuilding efforts."
The B'nai B'rith Flood, Tornado and Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund aided victims of Hurricane Sandy in the fall of 2012, as well as the victims of tornadoes in the South and Midwest. B'nai B'rith disaster relief funds have also provided aid to victims of the famine in East Africa, the 2011 tsunami and earthquake in Japan and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti; and provided humanitarian assistance to the Somali refugees fleeing violent conflict to Kenya.
"The images of Moore are absolutely gut-wrenching. But as bleak as things look right now, we need to press on and help our fellow citizens rebuild their lives," B'nai B'rith Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. "We will work with representatives of agencies and our members on the ground to provide assistance where it is needed in the wake of this tornado."
To help, donate online or you can also call 800-573-9057 to make a credit card contribution over the phone.
Or, you can send a check payable to the B'nai B'rith Disaster Relief Fund to:
B'nai B'rith International
Flood, Tornado and Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund
2020 K Street NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20006