Mom Concerned About Moore Schools' Fundraising Efforts
MOORE, Oklahoma - Support is pouring into the Moore School District to help those impacted by the May 20 tornado. But a mother who lost her daughter in Plaza Towers Elementary has concerns about that fundraising effort.
Until recently, the Moore Schools Web site stated that funds donated to the Moore Public Schools Tornado Relief Fund will be used "to aid students, families, and staff." But families with children in Moore schools say that's misleading for many who think they're donating directly to the affected families.
"People deserve an answer about where they're funding and donations are going to," said Kristi Conatzer.
"I guess a lot of the misconceptions are that some of the donations made aren't going to the right places."
Conatzer is one of the seven families who lost a child inside Plaza Towers Elementary during the May 20 tornado. Her 9-year-old daughter Emily died. Conatzer says she's not happy with the way the Moore Public School district is handling things and feels she's being taken advantage of.
"If somebody donates money and they think that it's going to one of us parents or its going to somebody else affected by the tornado they should know that's where it's going to and not somewhere else lost in the shuffle," she said.
Donations continue to pour into the Moore Schools account. Superintendent Robert Romines says the district is transparent about all the giving received.
"When someone calls and wants to make donations to the families or the victims, we direct them to those particular banking institutions so that they can make those deposit," said Romines. "Our donations department consists of about eight to 10 people who very careful to explain how that money goes out, so when we talk about aiding the families, school supplies and backpacks are going to do that, so that family won't have to purchase that for their kids."
Romines says the district cannot legally disburse funds directly to families, so they set up accounts at private banks for each of the seven at Plaza Towers.
He says many community organizations and private groups have also started funds to help the families in need directly.
Angie Kendall started the Plaza Towers Survivor Fund to raise money for all the May tornado victims, who lost children. Her fund has raised enough money through T-shirt sales to buy one of the Plaza families a car.
"They're not getting all the help that a lot of people think they are, and I'm not a big corporation, I'm just a mom wanting to help," said Kendall. "They shouldn't be worried about paying hotel expenses, paying car rental fees, and that kind of stuff, and I would love to see these families have their financial needs met."
Moore Schools says anyone who wants to make a donation to the affected families should tell them exactly where they want the money to go in writing or on the Donations Hotline at: (405)-735-4219.