Mark Shriver’s first thought in Moore, Okla. was that the damage left from Monday’s vast tornado is worse than what he saw after hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. His thoughts quickly turned to the children.
“We saw kids just looking through rubble,” he says.
Shriver runs “Save the Children,” providing global outreach and care to children affected by natural disasters, wars and famine.
For a situation like the tornado, Shriver says the initial response is typically fantastic, but the aid offered is often targeted at adults.
“There’s no one to help watch the kids or help them out so mom and dad can get things done,” he says.
Because the storm tore through school buildings, children have been in the spotlight as victims of the storm. But Shriver says it’s not always the victims you see who need the most help.
“We really need to make sure they’re ready for school in the fall and do what we can,” he says.
That means staying long after the cameras are gone, keeping staff and volunteers on the ground through the summer until the beginning of the next school year. They will work to rebuild the community literally from the ground up, starting with its youngest survivors.