Immediate needs are the basics: shelter, food, and clothes. Still need plus size clothing in some areas for women and XX sizes for men. There will be many needs further down the road when the victims have a place to live:
- baby -bed, car seat if theirs was burned in the vehicle
- bed, new pillows, and bedding: pillowcases, blankets, sheets
- bicycle for the child
- building supplies and groups of volunteers to assist with building projects
- Christmas decorations, gift sacks or wrapping paper
- computer for the kids schoolwork to replace theirs
- cookbook -Many of us pull our recipes from online but fire victims who won’t have a computer any more can’t do that. It might be fun to have family and friends put together some recipes they have and make a cookbook.
- envelopes and stamps; address book, ink pen or pencil and a notepad (Dollar Store sometimes has these)
- Farm needs
- Food– canned goods such as vegetables, fruits, tuna, canned chicken, staples: cocoa, flour, sugar, Spices a few basic spices such as garlic, cinnamon and a flavoring such as vanilla, peanut butter, mayo mustard, ketchup (Aldi’s has great prices.)
- furniture (such as a chest of drawers or dresser) to keep their clothes in, instead of a duffel bag. Old wood furniture can look wonderful if cleaned and painted. We have seen ugly old fashioned coffee tables, end tables, headboards, chest of drawers and dressers turned into something nice when painted white, off-white or black using a matte paint finish. (High gloss or flat just doesn’t look right.) Many of us may have some furniture that looks like the 70s or 80s so we don’t use it. However, with paint imagine how great it could look. Things will never be the way they were before but a child who has been a victim in the wildfires might feel excited to receive something that looked so good.
- House: alarm clock, appliances, curtains, clothes hangers, lamp, rug and bath mat, shower curtain, trash can
- Kitchen- aluminum foil, baggies, dish washing soap, cake pan, can opener, canisters, casserole dish, cookie sheet, cutting board and a knife, dish rack (drainer) plates, cereal bowls, drinking glasses, utensils: measuring cup, measuring spoons, microwave, mixer, mixing bowl, pie tin, pots and pans, salt and pepper (and the salt and pepper shakers) silverware, skillet, slotted spoon, spatula, toaster, wooden spoon, Tupperware or some type of storage container
- Meds – first aid items such as bandaids, peroxide, OTC medicines: Advil/Ibuprofen; Allergy meds, cold medicine, as immune systems can be affected from stress and working in the heat.
- Personal care– curlers/curling iron or such, emery board, mouthwash, nail clippers, vitamins, body soap, Q-Tips
- Pet food
- Pictures- Many are so sad that they have lost all their pictures. Family members and friends go through their own pictures to make copies of any picture they have with the fire victims in it. They build a photo album by sharing what they have of the family (the couple as they were young and just starting out, a child’s first birthday, family reunions, school pictures etc). This would be a most welcome gift.
- Scissors, sewing needles, thread
- Tools: hammer, saw, yard stick or measuring tape
- Toy for kids who lost all of theirs.
Housewarming Party/Shower! Everyone wants to help and to donate but in the middle of being homeless, there is just nowhere to keep the items– no closet, no hangers, no dresser, nothing but a duffel bag or backpack to keep clothing. A Housewarming Party scheduled for 2 weeks after they move into their house gives them time to assess what they lost, buy some things that they REALLY want and let others know what they need by setting up a Target registry. The housewarming party allows everyone to bring their gifts of clothes, furniture, food and well-wishes.
- When the weather turns chilly later in the year families will need winter coats, sweaters, jackets,scarf, gloves, hats, etc. The churches that have taken in clothing donations may store them until needed.
- Christmas The Red Cross can give a referral for Christmas Connection in OKC.
- Christmas-Helping Others Even When Money is Tight
God brings beauty for ashes.
Pictures of Oklahoma Wildfires August 2012