The images and stories coming out of the Oklahoma City area are heartbreaking, reminding us of our own experience with deadly tornadoes in 1998 and 2011. We’re also reminded of our unique connection to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
When an F5 tornado hit western Jefferson County in 1998, we learned from our sister community foundation how to serve long-term needs following any disaster—a strategy they developed in the wake of the federal building bombing in 1995, when it became apparent that tremendous unmet needs existed in Oklahoma City in the months following that tragedy.
“The Oklahoma City Community Foundation taught us so much about how to serve long-term needs, and those valuable lessons helped us frame our community response not only after the tornado in 1998, but also when Hurricane Katrina evacuees relocated to Birmingham and then again in the aftermath of the 2011 tornadoes. We know from experience what a fabulous community foundation they have,” said Community Foundation president Kate Nielsen.
“What we found out is that after the first responders leave, you enter into the “unmet needs” phase of the recovery–everything from home repair to job placement to mental health. This is where a community foundation has a profound impact, and that’s what the Oklahoma City Community Foundation will be doing through their Oklahoma City Tornado Recovery Fund. This is the real added value of a community foundation.”
We know you want to help. Here’s how:
Oklahoma City Tornado Recovery Fund and Community Emergency Fund
To assist with intermediate and long-term recovery efforts, you can make a gift to the Oklahoma City Tornado Recovery Fund, which will direct 100 percent of gifts to assist with the needs of those impacted by the storms.
Gifts to the Community Emergency Fund will be directed to nonprofit organizations who are providing immediate, direct assistance to those impacted by the May 20th tornado.
Contributions to the Oklahoma City Tornado Recovery Fund or Community Emergency Fund may be sent to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1146, Oklahoma City, OK, 73101-1146. To make an online gift visit https://occf.org/onlinegiving/.