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OUR VIEW: USM makes right call by calling off tornado relief campaign

A home in Moore, Okla. sits severely damaged Tuesday, May 21, 2013, after Monday's massive tornado moved through the area. The huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods and destroying an elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against winds.  (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

A home in Moore, Okla. sits severely damaged Tuesday, May 21, 2013, after Monday’s massive tornado moved through the area. The huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb Monday, flattening entire neighborhoods and destroying an elementary school with a direct blow as children and teachers huddled against winds. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

We have all seen the pictures, read the reports and heard the stories coming out of Moore, Okla.

The cost of a massive tornado that battered the Oklahoma City suburb could be more than $2 billion, according to a preliminary official estimate. State authorities meanwhile said two infants were among the 24 people who perished in the twister.

The financial cost of the tornado in Moore could be greater than the $2 billion in damage from the 2011 tornado that killed 158 people in Joplin, Mo.

It tugs at all of our hearts and makes us all want to help in any way we possibly can.

With that in mind, the University of Southern Mississippi has done the absolute right thing and stopped its own tornado relief fundraising campaigns in deference to storm victims in Oklahoma.

The USM Foundation launched the tornado campaign following the Feb. 10 EF-4 tornado that tore through the Hattiesburg area and a campus beautification campaign in April.

USM president Rodney Bennett has said that the school and the foundation are encouraging its alumni, friends and supporters to assist the Oklahoma tornado victims through their preferred disaster relief organization.

He says the focus now should be on the victims in Oklahoma.

He is right, and we should all do what we can, as little or as much as possible, to pitch in. It’s the right thing to do.

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