Two things have really jumped out in the disaster relief efforts in our state: the helpfulness of social media in providing specific and immediate relief, and the creativity of need-meeters. People are not just sending money through the Red Cross or donating used clothes and canned goods - people are finding specific niches of needs and pouring their heart and soul into meeting those needs.
One of those creative and awesome ideas is "Alabama's Lost Birthdays". They can be found on their Facebook Page, where they have over 2,500 people following them and offering their help.
Their mission is to give kids that were affected by the tornadoes back the birthdays that they lost. They receive recommendations of kids to bless via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. They contact the parents of that child and get information about what they like, what kind of party they want, and what presents they would like, and then publish these wish lists on their facebook page to allow their supporters the opportunity to purchase specific gifts for these children, or "smiles", as they're referred to on their page.
They have also been able to get venues to donate time to have the birthday parties and people to donate party supplies, such as cakes and decorations. People have also been willing to volunteer their time to make these parties happen.
So far, they have sponsored 75 birthday parties, 10 of which they're still seeking support for. They are truly blessing the children of Alabama who have lost so much. If you would like to be a part of their efforts, visit their facebook page!
If you know of a great tornado relief opportunity, email me at email@example.com