NEW YORK, May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the relief and development arm of The United Methodist Church, has been in contact with local partners after a mile-wide tornado claimed dozens of lives and injured hundreds in Moore, Oklahoma on Monday.
Greg Forrester, the executive in charge of US Disaster Response for UMCOR, implored concerned persons to stay out of the way of first responders, who are still looking for survivors.
"Well-meaning people who arrive on-scene to help in the immediate aftermath of an event like this tend to get under foot and unintentionally divert important resources," he said. "First responders need time to do the work of locating survivors and securing the area. That work is still underway."Currently, local partners are telling UMCOR that the most important ways that concerned individuals can help is through prayer and financial assistance. Contributions to support relief and recovery in Moore and other parts of the United States after severe weather events like this can be made online through UMCOR US Disaster Response, Advance #901670. The Advance is the official giving channel of The United Methodist Church; it guarantees that 100 percent of donations to a specific program are used only for that program and not for overhead or other administrative expenses. Donations can also be made by calling toll free 1-800-554-8583, or by texting the word RESPONSE to 80888 to make an immediate $10 donation. Relief kits will likely be needed, especially health kits and school kits. For information about how to assemble these, visit the UMCOR Relief Supplies page on UMCOR.org. Kits can be sent to any of the eight depots in the UMCOR Relief-Supply Network . This was the second bout of severe weather to strike Oklahoma in two days. On Sunday, May 19, some 24 tornadoes tore through five states—Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois—and destroyed 300 homes. The town of Shawnee, Oklahoma, where two people died, bore the brunt of the earlier outbreak. About UMCOR The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the not-for-profit global humanitarian aid organization of The United Methodist Church. Compelled by Christ to be a voice of conscience on behalf of the people called Methodist, UMCOR works globally to alleviate human suffering and advance hope and healing. There are many ways to support UMCOR's work. You can donate online or over the phone by calling 1-800-554-8583. You can mail checks (payable to UMCOR) to P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY, 10087. You can also use offering envelopes to designate funds for UMCOR and put them in the offering plate at any United Methodist Church. UMCOR is a registered 501(c) (3) charity. All gifts are tax deductible. Media contact: Melissa Hinnen212-870-3833 (office)646-241-7746 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org