Officials from the National Weather Service say the tornado that ripped through Oklahoma on Monday was one of the strongest on record, with winds topping 200 miles per hour. It will be days -- if not weeks -- before damage estimates are finalized, but what's abundantly clear is that the storm left the community of Moore in shambles, with dozens dead and far more injured.
If there's a bright side to this tragedy, it's the spirit of community seen in the people of Oklahoma and across the U.S., with friends, neighbors, and complete strangers coming together to speed recovery efforts.
Automakers are stepping up to the plate, too. The General Motors Foundation has announced a gift of $50,000 to Forgotten Harvest, a nonprofit based in Michigan that works "to relieve hunger in the Detroit metropolitan community by rescuing surplus, prepared and perishable food and donating it to emergency food providers". In the wake of the Oklahoma disaster, Forgotten Harvest has launched a new initiative called "Help 4 Oklahoma", which collects food for those who've been affected by Monday's storm.
What's more, GM's Chevrolet brand has donated a 2013 Silverado to Forgotten Harvest's cause. The organization will use the pickup to gather nonperishable food items, which will ultimately be delivered to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
Both the Foundation and Chevrolet deserve some applause for being so quick to respond to those in need. As we've seen in other disasters like the 2010 earthquake that hit Haiti and Hurricane Sandy last fall, other automakers will likely pitch in soon. We'll do our best to update you as that news arrives.
In the meantime, if you'd like to contribute to Forgotten Harvest's work in Oklahoma, you can make a charitable gift by clicking here.