Team SP 5k for Oklahoma

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

In response to the tornado in Oklahoma I wanted to do something to help.  It’s a strange feeling being on vacation while so many are suffering. Mommy and I spent some time talking about it. The first organization that came to mind was Samaritan’s Purse.

I have a friend there, so Mommy and I discussed how I might respond to the situation. I may even go to Oklahoma to aid in the cleanup. But I delayed in contacting my friend at SP by a day.

My friend, Darren, runs Team Samaritan’s Purse. They compete in endurance events across the country to raise funds for various SP projects and recovery responses. He asked if I could let a few people know about the virtual 5k Team SP is doing to raise money for Oklahoma. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that he emailed me first. God laid this one right in my lap.

I asked Darren for more information first. Here’s what he sent me:

Samaritan’s Purse is responding to a series of vicious tornadoes that pounded the Oklahoma City area Sunday and Monday.
Staff members were on the ground less than 24 hours after the terrible twisters devastated the area. Two Disaster Relief Units were deployed from our North Carolina headquarters before dawn on Tuesday, and arrived in the early morning hours on Wednesday.

“Our prayers are with all of those who are suffering because of this massive storm,” Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham said. “We are going to stand by them and do everything we can to help them recover physically, emotionally and spiritually.”
Our Disaster Relief Units are tractor-trailers stocked with heavy-duty plastic, chainsaws, generators, and other tools and equipment. The units also serve as command centers for the response. One is based at Family of Faith Church in Shawnee, about 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. The other will be based in Moore, the town that took a direct hit from a massive EF-5 tornado.
As soon as we are able to get into the affected areas, volunteers will begin helping storm victims by cleaning up debris, salvaging personal belongings, cutting up and removing downed trees, and tarping damaged roofs. Working alongside Rapid Response chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, our teams will let people impacted by the tornadoes know that God hasn’t forgotten them.
“When a storm devastates a community, one of the most important ways Samaritan’s Purse staff and volunteers help is to find and salvage the personal belongings of victims who have already lost so much,” said Brent Graybeal, program manager for the response in Moore. “A homeowner is grateful when you patch a hole in their roof, but it’s usually nothing in comparison to finding their grandmother’s wedding ring or an irreplaceable family photo album. We know that by helping people pick up these pieces it provides comfort and a sense of hope for the long road ahead of them.”
The monster storm pounded the Oklahoma City suburbs Monday, leveling homes, businesses and schools in Moore. At least 24 people were killed, including nine children. Entire neighborhoods are in ruins. The funnel cloud could be seen for miles, creating a debris field several miles wide. Houses are reduced to debris piles, and cars and trucks are strewn along roadsides.

For now I’ve decided to get the word out for Darren about the virtual 5k. I’ll participate and raise funds myself as well.

To get involved in the 5k as a participant:

1.       Create your personal participant page by going to http://www.firstgiving.com/teamsp/virtual-5k-for-oklahoma
2.  Notify your friends and family that you are participating – get them to support you.
3.  Crawl, walk, run, cycle, swim a 5K (3.1 miles-ish) on May 31st. Anywhere, anytime.
Before work, lunch break, after work – whatever fits your schedule.
4.  Email TeamSP@Samaritan.org a picture of you at your event.
5.  Team SP will create a collage of everyone participating in the Virtual 5K.
6.  Special prizes for the most creative outfit and the most funds raised
(determined on June 15).

Or you can donate to my personal 5k here:

https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/ChadNikazy/virtual-5k-for-Oklahoma

I love you,

– Daddy