The images of a natural disaster show hard-to-believe scenes - flooding up to a roof-top, a home destroyed but books still lined on a shelf, charred trees with a fire approaching an urban area, rain and high winds bending trees over. These are familiar sights following floods, tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes.
In the aftermath, there are people who want to help but may not know how and where. That is what Megan Shoenfelt thought after seeing images of Kentucky's December 2021 tornado damage. She wanted to donate money but also wanted to make sure her donation was used in the best possible way. Her donation needed to be used toward the mission, not salaries.
"It just affected me and touched me in a way that I knew I wanted to help in a meaningful way," says Megan. "I'm cautious about larger charities, so I started to do research online. Midwest Food Bank was continually at the top of the list for accountability."
Megan owns Terra Depot, a small home and garden business in North Canton, OH. Because she receives so much kindness and support from her customers, she wanted to extend that to people in Kentucky. She shared her plan to donate to MFB Disaster Relief with her customers and network and asked them to consider donating, too.
"People didn't blink an eye when I told them our plan," says Megan. "I believe that people really do want to help. If something like that happened in North Canton, Ohio, there would be people that would help us."
Megan is like most donors - they want to make a monetary donation, but they also want to be assured their gift is used wisely. When natural disasters strike, people like Megan check with Charity Navigator, which maintains a list of reputable charities providing relief. Midwest Food Bank is a Four-Star charity with Charity Navigator. This is a ranking we take seriously and work hard to maintain.
Other donors from locations outside of the MFB footprint have also found us. Here is what some other donors have to say:
"We follow Charity Navigator, which reached out to us via email with several charities helping to mitigate the suffering of communities impacted by the tornadoes," says Kathy Franch. Your charity was listed among them. We selected you based on high ratings and outcomes."
"I had been wanting to donate to disaster relief for people in Kentucky devastated by the tornadoes, but I was unsure how to find a legitimate organization to donate to," says Anna Woodward. "I received a newsletter from a local store I frequent with a recommendation for Midwest Food Bank and a link to donate. Thank you for the work you do."
"The destruction and devastation from last weekend's storm just rips my heart out, and I want to be able to help where I can," says Tom [last name withheld]. "I listen to Moody Radio and learned about Midwest Food Bank. I will continue to partner with MFB so hungry folks can have food to enjoy."
Chris Lauritzen's daughter lives in Normal, IL, and volunteers at the MFB there. Chris echoes the feelings of many donors:
"We all feel helpless; a donation is the least I can do at this time," says Chris. "I volunteered with my daughter and two granddaughters packing food last spring. MFB does a fantastic job, and I read on your website that you are ready to send six semi-loads to those devastated by the tornadoes. Thank you, and God bless you for all you do."
Over 99 cents of every dollar donated to Midwest Food Bank goes to help people through our programs and services. To provide help and hope to those in need, click here.