You may have realized this from the name of my blog or due to the fact that you know my personally, but I'm from Oklahoma, born and raised. When I moved to California one of my old coworkers had one request:
"When people ask you about Oklahoma, be proud. Don't talk bad about it. Tell them the nice things about your home state."
I never forgot that. When people ask me why I'm in LA I tell them I wanted to get out of Oklahoma to experience something bigger, but that I love going back home. There are so many amazing things about Oklahoma that you can NOT get in Los Angeles: open skies, thunderstorms and fresh air just to name a few. (And REAL Snocones. Where can I find a real snocone in LA??? Shimmers...how I miss you!)
Being from Oklahoma I understand tornadoes. In the spring they happen like every other day. So when Mike Morgan - the local Oklahoma City weather man - says there's a twister coming you take note, but you don't really think it will be disruptive other than canceling your evening plans.
Then a tornado like the one from Monday hits. And your world is turned literally upside down.
Mike Morgan said the May 20th tornado was the most powerful in the history of the world. +The Huffington Post sites it as more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. In comparison to the tornado that hit the same area on May 3rd, 1999, May 20th's was three times more powerful. I remember the May 3rd and that just blows my mind.
Being so removed way out here in California, a few of us were struggling to figure out how we could help. If we still lived in OK, we could drive down and serve food or sort through rubble, anything. But here...what could we do? Donate $10? Post hopeful Facebook statuses?
What if we got a bunch of people to donate $10? What if we got them all to share the news on their feeds? +Lindsey Arotin, +Chris Aragon and I got busy.
I contacted a great company called Mobile Cause where my friend +Angela McIntosh works. They are connected to a bunch of fine charities. Angela suggested Feed The Children because they are based in Oklahoma City. This way, the money we raise is going right to the people who need it the most right now. She hooked us up with this amazing Social Giving campaign. You can make a credit card donation by clicking here. It's incredibly easy, and no gift is too small!
+Lindsey Arotin and +Exhale Day Spa,LLC are holding a donation class to help raise heart rates and cash.
+Chris Aragon reached out to a bar called SOUTH in Santa Monica. It's a cool spot, especially for people from the southern and midwest states who like hanging and watching sports, etc. They were immediately down to let us host our fundraiser at their bar/restaurant PLUS they are giving 15% of the night's revenues to the cause. Amazing.
People and companies have been so gracious offering support, sharing the news and donating raffle items.
I love Oklahoma. I love my Oklahomies and how we always pull together to help each other. I'm so proud of my state, the people who call it home, and the people who love us.
Oh! Almost forgot: I created a playlist on +Spotify full of my fave Oklahoma bands and songs. You have your obvious ones (All American Rejects, Carrie Underwood, Leon Russell, Hanson) as well as my friendlies (Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Paul Benjaman Band, P.D.A., Aranda) and some I threw in even though they might be a stretch (Kanye West. I mean, he spent a good few years living in Oklahoma!). Enjoy it here.