Whenever tragedy strikes these days, it’s important to be savvy and careful because scams abound. We saw this happen when the earthquake hit Haiti in 2010. Scammers setup websites and text messaging “offers” which ripped off people instead of helping victims. Whenever you see an offer along the lines, “text to this number to send money” be VERY careful and consider the source/credibility of the offer. This is a timely and relevant digital literacy lesson to share with your students this week.

A few hours ago a devastating tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma, just south of Oklahoma City. Storms are ongoing, but we hope the worst is behind us. People are still trapped in buildings and in vehicles in Moore, the images of the devastation are very bad. Yesterday a tornado hit Edmond, Oklahoma, just north of where we live and very close to our previous house in Edmond. People were injured and at least one person was killed in yesterday’s tornados, but today (from the News 9 reports I’ve seen) it appears multiple people were killed in the Moore tornado. You can view the local live web feed of News9 in Oklahoma City if you’d like to follow updates.

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Here are two credible ways you can make a cash donation to help the victims of the Oklahoma tornados this week. The first is to donate to the Oklahoma Food Bank. Text the word “food” (without quotation marks) to 32333 to donate $10. This offer was shared by Oklahoma News9 on their Twitter account. I made this donation a few minutes ago, and had to confirm the donation by texting “Yes” after the first message.

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The second way to donate is to “Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.” This method is posted on the official redcross.org website. While that donation goes to Red Cross disaster relief generally and not specifically to Oklahoma, I’m sure much of that money WILL be used in upcoming weeks to help Oklahoma tornado victims.

If you know of verified/credible ways to make text message / SMS donations to help Oklahoma tornado victims, please share them with a link to the source website as a comment.

All 5 members of our family are safe in Oklahoma City. Please keep the Oklahoma families affected by these devastating storms in your thoughts and prayers.

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Update 21 May 2013 from NewsOK: How To Help Tornado Victims

Update 21 May 2013 from the Yukon Public Schools Facebook page:

The Yukon High School StuCo and Leadership will be collecting water bottles, Gatorade, diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, work gloves, trash bags, individual wrapped snacks, hand sanitizer, hand towels, sunscreen, batteries, flashlights and money for the Oklahoma tornado victims. These items will be delivered to the Salvation Army for distribution.

Please bring items to the Yukon High School Rotunda by Wednesday 5/23/13 at 3:30pm. Questions? Email Darryl Andrews: [email protected]

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  • Iain Murphy

    Hey Wes
    Glad to hear you are your family are all okay.
    The devastation has made the news down here in Australia, our thoughts and prays are with you.

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