Kudos to Ben Jones, a senior student at Penn State and founder of the Victory Bell Rings blog, for trying to organize Penn State football related blogs to encourage donations for our friends in Tuscaloosa Alabama and surrounding communities in the South. Other blogs such as Nittany Whiteout and LinebackerU.com are also joining the effort and asking people to donate.
Great idea, fellow bloggers! And let me join in also by encouraging my readers to make a personal donation to help the people in Alabama and other southern states.
Many years ago, in the early 1990's, a tornado ripped through and destroyed my mother's community in Largo Florida. The Red Cross was there immediately and she talked about how wonderful they were throughout that trauma when 180 of the 300 homes surrounding her were destroyed (fortunately not hers). We were grateful to them that they took care of my mom and all her neighbors so well.
Ben Jones at Victory Bell Rings has set up an account where you can send money to his email address through a paypal account. He has promised he will then forward it to the Red Cross-mid Alabama chapter.
I believe he's sincere in attempting to consolidate donations on behalf of the "blogosphere", with the intent to show our fellow Alabama fans that "We Are...Penn State" and solidly behind them right now. So far, he has collected $1305, a fantastic sum for a short-lived effort that has appeared on a few Penn State blogs. However, be aware that Jones is not a tax-deductible organization. Ben Jones does not have the appropriate 501(c)(3) status to give you the receipt you need if you itemize charitable deductions on your taxes.
The following information comes from the American Red Cross website on how to donate:
To make a donation, visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
The Salvation Army also has a longstanding history of helping those in need, and is on site in Alabama helping with this crisis. From their website:
The Salvation Army asks those who want to help to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designate April 2011 Tornado Outbreak. Donors may text “GIVE” to 80888. Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 100339, Atlanta, GA 30384-0339. Monetary donations will ensure The Salvation Army can meet the most immediate needs of those impacted by disaster.
Terry and I have visited Alabama three times to watch Penn State play: in 1988, in 1990, and most recently in 2010. I have written a few blog articles already about the gracious hospitality we have experienced from Alabama fans, and the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa remains my second favorite place to watch a college football game.
Our hearts go out to all the people in Alabama and surrounding states who are struggling right now to define their "new normal". Know that your friends from Penn State are solidly behind you.
Roll Tide! and We Are...Penn State!