FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2019
Holly Raley, Tulsa Community Foundation – (918) 494-8823
Brent Sadler, Tulsa Area United Way - (918) 295-6670
DISASTER RELIEF FUND FOR EASTERN OKLAHOMA ESTABLISHED TO ASSIST WITH RECOVERY
(TULSA, Okla.) – Tulsa Community Foundation (TCF) and Tulsa Area United Way (TAUW) have established the Disaster Relief Fund for Eastern Oklahoma to provide assistance to nonprofit organizations which are providing services and support to residents of eastern Oklahoma affected by recent weather related flooding and tornadic storms. Donations made to the fund will assist with mid- and long-term recovery needs. American Red Cross, faith-based institutions, etc., are investing (each day) in the affected areas now to meet immediate recovery needs. This fund will not make gifts to agencies meeting immediate needs but will support organizations which step-in to assist with the long-term needs after the immediate need groups have completed their work. Similar funds have been created in the past to address other community needs, typically delaying grantmaking for two to three months, after which time more of the social, physical and emotional needs become evident.
“Help your neighbors if you are not affected. Step Up. This is Tulsa, America’s Most Generous City. We help people here, because it’s what’s right and what’s expected,” according to Tulsa Community Foundation CEO, Phil Lakin.
While widespread storm damage and flooding has been reported in Tulsa and surrounding communities such as Bixby, Sand Springs, Sperry, Turley, and Skiatook, the damage extends beyond Tulsa to areas in Eastern Oklahoma including Glenpool, Muskogee, and Webbers Falls. The recovery needs in some communities are anticipated to be significant. While getting homes and businesses restored is a priority other long-term recovery needs will include repairs to infrastructure like Tulsa Riverparks where trails, lights, and landscaping are badly damaged.
Donations can be made securely at www.TulsaCF.org/2019storms. Donations by check should be made payable to Tulsa Community Foundation and include “Disaster Relief Fund for Eastern Oklahoma” in the memo of the check. Mail checks to Tulsa Community Foundation, 7030 S. Yale Ave., Suite 600, Tulsa, Okla., 74136. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
Once funds are collected, Tulsa Community Foundation will work with the Tulsa Area United Way to receive grant applications from agencies that have provided direct services to victims. Both organizations will assure grants are made to legitimate service organizations. As needs are assessed, we will collaborate with a network of local funders and multi-agency organizations to identify the most pressing needs, reply to matches made by funders, or issue a challenge for a particular need that is unfunded or underfunded.
Awarded grants will assist agencies in covering unexpected operating costs, as well as expenses related to direct services for those affected by the storm, such as shelter, food, home repair, health, mental health and other disaster relief and emergency assistance services. Special emphasis will be placed on services for low-income, elderly, disabled and other special needs populations.
The Tulsa Area United Way is in its 95th year of service to the Tulsa area. Last year, the United Way's 59 agencies served hundreds of thousands of people in six counties in the areas of education, health and safety and financial stability.
Among the largest community foundations in America, Tulsa Community Foundation is a tax-exempt, public charity organized in 1998 to be the recognized, community-owned organization that initiates, teaches and encourages personal and corporate charitable giving today to ensure the philanthropic needs of Oklahoma can be met for all generations.