Rams QB seeks support for those back home

ST. LOUIS — Sam Bradford’s priorities have shifted.

On Monday, the St. Louis Rams’ quarterback was in his Oklahoma City home, preparing for the organized team activities the Rams started this week. Before the end of the day, football was the least of his concerns. The reason was the deadly tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., Monday afternoon — a suburb less than half an hour south of Bradford’s home.

“Me and my buddy were sitting on our patio when the sirens went off,” the former Oklahoma quarterback told reporters after Thursday’s OTA. “We turned on the news and obviously the storm was well south of us and the meteorologists were just saying, ‘This has gone bad in a hurry. This doesn’t look good.’ They knew what was coming. Then to see the actual tornado live on TV and know what it’s doing on the ground, I think that’s the hardest part because you know that every second, every minute, people are losing their homes and losing all their belongings and then to see the photos afterwards, it was just really tough.”

Bradford engaged in a mad scramble many shared, checking in on family members and friends — all of whom were safe.

“My cousin actually lives in Moore,” he said, “and it’s the first person I thought of. Texted him. He texted me back that he was good. He’s got, I believe, a 17-month-old son who was at day care and he was fine, too. His daycare was spared.”

Now, back in St. Louis, he is encouraging others to help those less fortunate. He has teamed with St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay to promote #STL4OKC, a disaster relief initiative based in St. Louis. He filmed a message soliciting support on YouTube.

“Anyone, if you can donate anything, there’s thousands of families back home right now who have, literally, nothing,” Bradford said. “Everything will help, and they will be extremely grateful and it means a lot to me that the people of St. Louis are even willing to help. It’s pretty cool.”

How you can help #STL4OKC (from the Rams’ website):

A goods donation drives continues Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at Broadway and Spruce, across from Gate One at Busch Stadium in the Tums Parking Lot.

Friday, the goods donation drive will continue from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at two locations: Loughborough Commons at I-55 and Loughborough and at Kirkwood Commons at I-44 and Lindbergh. Each location will have a tractor trailer and will be packed as donations arrived.

Items needed include:

* Baby items – diapers, wipes, formula, Pedialyte or equivalent

* Personal needs – lip balm, insect repellant, bathroom tissue, feminine hygiene products, sunscreen, eye drops, first aid supplies, wet wipes, toiletries

* Cleaning supplies – Bleach, disinfectant, paper towels

* Building and packing materials – small hand tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, nails, crowbars, saws, screws, work gloves, plywood, duct tape, heavy duty garbage bags, storage containers, nylon rope, large plastic containers, tarps.

* Pet supplies – food, kitty litter, pet bowls

* Children’s shoes, socks, underwear, clothes sports equipment (balls)

* Non-perishable food

* Blankets

* Bottled water

* Batteries (C and D sizes)

* Candles

* Cash donations are always helpful and in many instances preferable. You can make cash donations by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-REDCROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.