Many Want To Know Destination Of Dollars Donated For OK Tornado Relief

Wednesday, June 5th 2013, 10:21 pm
By: News 9

Donations have been pouring into organizations like the Red Cross since the first tornadoes touched down on May 19, but some people affected by recent tornados are concerned that millions of dollars in donations aren't all going to Oklahomans.

So far, The Red Cross has raised more than $18 million for thousands of families. The organization reassures money raised for those affected in Oklahoma, stays in Oklahoma.

"I teach at Briarwood, and they go there, so they lived through it, so they've been on edge," said Gina Janzen.

Janzen, a second grade teacher at Briarwood Elementary, her husband and two kids are one of thousands of families in central Oklahoma applying for disaster assistance.

"We had roof damage, the windows blown in," said Janzen.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

Janzen and her family had to make a second trip to West Moore High School for Red Cross assistance. The first time there was simply too many people. But now, she says they're finally getting the immediate financial assistance they need.

"I came in. I didn't have any idea what was out here, but when I came in. They were very organized and they just take you from section to section," said Janzen.

There has, however, been some confusion on how people struggling after the storms can get the cash. Leslie Palmer with Red Cross says money can come to families-in-need in a variety of ways.

"It is a process, and people get really confused," said Palmer. "It isn't just in our door, into someone's hand, as far as a client's hand as cash."  

But, she says the Red Cross can serve as a financial bridge if there is unmet need for a family that has lost a little, or everything.

"And that's cash, or replacement eyeglasses," said Palmer. "Whatever you need, we're going to help you get what you need."

Financial need is based on a case by case basis. A bulk of the money being raised is used to make sure that people have shelter, clothing, and food.