The Orthodox Union announced today that after still another natural catastrophe, it has established a fund to aid the victims of the devastating tornado in Joplin, Missouri. The fund will also bring relief to inhabitants of cities such as Memphis, Tennessee and communities in Mississippi, which have found themselves underwater from an overflowing Mississippi River.
Given the frequent recurrence of these disasters, rather than establish separate rescue funds, the OU has consolidated them into the Orthodox Union's Natural Disasters Crisis Fund as a central address for charitable giving. Previously, the OU had set up funds for the earthquakes in Japan and Haiti, the forest fires in the Carmel, and of course, for Hurricane Katrina.
“The response to all of these funds has been extremely generous,” declared David Frankel, Chief Operating Officer of the OU.
Joplin was hit this week by one of the most devastating tornados in North America since records began to be kept, with at least 30 percent of the town destroyed and the death toll at 116 and certain to grow.
The Orthodox Union has received a report from the scene sent to Rabbi David Gorelik, a Rabbinic Coordinator in OU Kosher. “One of my companies, Jasper Products, lost three employees. I have left messages on the cell phones of two of my contacts,” he wrote.
OU President Dr. Simcha Katz declared, “Emergency relief organizations have moved in to provide food and shelter, and to begin clearing the debris and to start the reconstruction, a task that will take months and years. Reconstructing the many thousands of shattered lives will take even longer. If you are looking for a way to help--and who can fail to do so when confronted with such a catastrophe--you may send your contribution through the Orthodox Union's Natural Disasters Crisis Fund. Your dollars will go directly to where they can be of most benefit.”
Contributions may be sent to Orthodox Union, 11 Broadway, New York, NY 10004. They may also be given online at www.ou.org/disasterfund.
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