Oklahoma Tornado Donation Figures Released

Wednesday, August 7th 2013, 6:15 pm

Almost as fast as the tornados blew through, the donations came in. Folks from across the country donated tens of millions of dollars for the victims of the May storms.

Here is the breakdown of how much has been donated and how much has been spent by some of the larger charities:

The United Way - received  $13 million dollars, allocated $2 million.

Red Cross - received $38 million, spent $15 million

Salvation Army - received $12 million, committed $4 million

Catholic Charities - received $4 million, spent $830,000

Now, these agencies are taking an unprecedented approach in dolling it out the rest of the money. Tara McDonald was on vacation when the May tornadoes came through, when she came home her house was gone.

"We grow up here and you see it over and over and over and you never every think it's going to be you, until you look and it is," said a teary eyed Tara on Wednesday.

As renters, Tara and her roommates didn't have homeowners insurance but FEMA helped them with moving expenses and immediate necessities. Beyond that, money to help them replace things like furniture, and clothing never materialized, despite the fact that she opened a case with several charities.

"You just feel a little bit abandoned, when you're hoping for it and it doesn't deliver,"   said Tara.

But Janienne Bella, CEO with the American Red Cross says help for those like Tara is coming, and Soon.

"We really are lightning bolts ahead of what a typical disaster would look like but for that individual who's recovering it can't be fast enough," said Bella.

In what agencies call an unprecedented move the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Society of Saint Vincent De Paul, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief will all be working together, under the same roof.

Called the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project, the agencies will distribute and handle 6,300 cases to determine those who need long term help, and make sure they get it.

The project will have three locations: Moore, Shawnee, and El Reno. The centers should open next week and stay open for one to two years.

For more information on the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project, call 1-866-477-7276.


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