“Numbers don’t lie,” an actuary once told me. “But they don’t always tell the whole story, either,” I remember shooting back.
I thought of that today as I read the grim statistics about the storms that devastated the southern U.S. over the past three days: Six states affected. At least 312 dead. 1,700 people treated for trauma in Alabama hospitals alone. More than one million homes without power.
But those statistics only hint at the human cost of the storms. For me, a single paragraph in one Associated Press report summed it up:
Kathy McDonald glanced around her damaged town and quietly wept. Her family’s furniture store, which sold tables and couches for decades, was torn apart. “I just can’t understand this. Are people coming to help us?” she said. “We feel all alone.”
When disaster strikes, no one should feel all alone.
Just as I urged my friends to give generously after the devastating earthquake in Japan, tonight I’m hoping you’ll consider making a donation to one of the organizations whose relief efforts are already underway in the southern U.S.
Thanks again to the Huffington Post for assembling some of these resources:
• The American Red Cross has opened dozens of emergency shelters for families affected by the severe storms. You can donate online or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. To quickly contribute10, you can text “REDCROSS” to 90999.
• Feeding America recommends that people make financial contributions to local food banks, which will use the money to hand out food supplies to survivors. You can use the locator on the organization’s website to find food banks in disaster-affected communities.
• Americares is on the ground in Sanford, North Carolina managing distribution of water, medicine and supplies for health workers to extend care for patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases.
If you haven’t already, I urge you to make a donation to your favorite relief organization. Even $10 can help make a difference to someone who has lost everything.