This editorial appeared in the Independent's opinion page on June 6.
It is impossible to express appreciation to the hundreds of people who have been helping Grand Island. There are so many you can't begin to name them all.
The individuals who have just pitched in, asking no thanks, are innumerable. Unaffected Islanders, good neighbors, volunteer firemen and ambulance drivers, police personnel and government workers have risen to meet a need. Thanks to them may never be properly expressed, but their efforts will never be forgotten.
Then there are the businesses and corporations who have moved to meet particular needs -- Roberts Dairy which shipped in bottle water to the hospitals; the Burlington Northern which has brought in a carload of ice; Hinky Dinky, Monforts and Jack and Jill which have sent food to the Red Cross shelters; U-Haul which has been furnishing free moving equipment to victims. Henderson area Mennonites, Church World Service, the Salvation Army and the Seventh Day Adventist church are among the many who moved into the community to help.
These are only a few incidents of which we have been made aware. Perhaps, when a semblance of normalcy returns, all the efforts can be properly recognized.
There is one are, however, where all those more fortunate that the Grand Island victims can help. That's in the form of hard cash to the tornado relief funds.
There have been some massive contributions already -- the Lincoln Foundation giving $15,000 to the city of Grand Island; the Omaha World-Herald, Mutual of Omaha, the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben and InterNorth Inc. of Omaha giving $10,000 each to the relief fund. The Journal-Star Printing Co. in Lincoln contributed $3,500, the Lincoln Foundation another $2,000. So the funds are piling up.
The Independent is making a different sort of contribution. There has been tremendous demand for the eight-page, no advertising section which we were able to print Wednesday on the York Daily News-Times press. A second press run has already been made at The Independent plant, and all proceeds from the 25-cent asking price for the single copy edition are being donated to the drive.
There will be many more like that. And while those contributions in the thousands are need, of even greater value will be the pennies from the school kids and the $5 and $10 bills from their parents.
Like the federal government, the Red Cross has declared this a major disaster. In fact, there are some veteran observers who say they have never seen anything quite like it. Perhaps not in lives, but in economic terms and loss to thousands of victims, it must surely rank with some hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and other major tornadoes like the one in Wichita Falls, Texas, last year. Our 1967 flood pales in comparison.
That serves only to emphasize a need which will be met only with dollars.
Those dollars may be sent to the Red Cross Tornado Disaster Fund, P.O. Box 83267, Lincoln, Neb. 68501; they may be mailed to the Red Cross Grand Island Tornado Fund at the Omaha World-Herald. WOrld-Hearald Square, Omaha, Neb. 68102, or they may be sent to the Grand island Charitable Fund, Tornado Relief, at any Grand Island bank. Those bank addresses are Commercial National Bank, 424 W. Third; First National Bank, 202 W. Third; Five Points Bank, 2015 N. Broadwell Ave., and Overland National Bank, 304 W. Third, all at Grand Island, Neb. 68801.