Adventists Join Oklahoma
Tornado Relief Effort
ACS sets up relief center at Hope Adventist Fellowship, untouched by massive storm (Posted May 23, 2013)
 
BY MARK A. KELLNER, News Editor
 
Adventist Community Services (ACS) is providing disaster relief to victims of the May 20, 2013, tornado that cut a 17-mile path of destruction through Moore, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City.
 
Authorities said 24 people, including eight children, perished in the twister, rated at “EF5,” the highest rating on the Enhanced Fujita scale used to measure a tornado’s strength. The May 20 storm hit on the second consecutive day of tornadoes in the state, packing peak winds of 190 mph, and touched down in the towns of New Castle, Moore and other Oklahoma City suburbs. The tornado spent 40 minutes traveling 17 miles on the ground and devastated an estimated 30 square miles that included neighborhoods and two elementary schools.
 
"Please remember to pray for the many victims of this tragedy, and for all of our faithful ACS and rescue and relief workers and volunteers," said Sung Kwon, NAD ACS executive director.
 
ACS is currently operating a distribution center from the Hope Adventist Fellowship in Moore, whose building was miraculously untouched by the storm. Collection centers are being operated at the Midwest City Adventist Church, Oklahoma City Central Spanish Adventist Church, Tulsa Adventist Fellowship, and Tulsa Adventist Academy.
 
ADRA International has committed $50,000 to the relief efforts, and will work with ACS to assist with the disaster response.
 
ACS Disaster Relief is a member of National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), along with about 55 other nonprofit organizational members. Each response organization has their own specialty and work together in a disaster area, cooperating seamlessly with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other state VOADs in an orderly, well-trained manner within their own area of expertise. ACS DR specializes in handling donated goods and distributing relief supplies. This means the ACS teams collect, sort, warehouse and distribute goods. Much-needed relief supplies are distributed to survivors and responders using fixed sites that often are Adventist churches and schools, and also using mobile distribution units.
 
A statement from the North American Division urged Seventh-day Adventists who want to help victims of the Oklahoma tragedy to funnel monetary donations through ACS.
 
PANORAMA OF DESTRUCTION: Part of the devastation caused by an EF5 tornado in Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013. Spray-painted “X” on a car indicates no one was found in the mangled vehicle. [Jim Landelius/NAD]
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“ACS is able to leverage its partnerships and bulk purchasing power to provide goods to disaster survivors for a fraction of retail cost,” the NAD statement said.
 
To donate, people may go online to visit www.communityservices.org, call 1-800-381-7171, or mail a check to Adventist Community Services, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904. They may also place a donation in an Adventist Church offering plate, marked “ACS disaster response.”
 
Adventist Community Services is a non-profit, faith-based humanitarian agency that works across America through more than 1,100 local offices and centers. Growing out of early Seventh-day Adventist community efforts including the Dorcas Society and Seventh-day Adventist Welfare Services (SAWS), ACS became a charter member of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) in 1969. Since 1974, Adventist Community Services has operated in partnership with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which recognizes Adventist Community Services as an established nonprofit disaster agency.
 
                                              -- with information from the North American Division and Adventist Community Services
 
 
 
 
 
 

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