The United Way Pottawatomie County Disaster Relief Fund balance as of today is exceeding $87,000, excluding the Avedis Foundation match, said Audrey Seeliger, Director of the United Way of Pottawatomie County.
Seeliger said donations of all sizes have been made, including a donation of $10 from Claire and Leslie Wallace from Little Rock, Ark., who are the granddaughters of Bill and Nancy Ford. The girls earned the money by working extra jobs around the house.
“The scope and size of the donations both large and small is heartwarming,” Seeliger said.
The funds donated will go to aid with relief efforts after the May 19 tornado damaged several Pottawatomie County communities. OG&E recently gave $25,000 and Central Disposal donated $1,000 to the fund.
The Avedis Foundation announced a donation of $25,000 last week and in addition will match donations made to the United Way of Pottawatomie County Disaster Relief Fund up to $100,000, said Seeliger.
Todd and Jon-Mark Adcock, owners of Central Disposal, said they would like to challenge the community to top the $100,000 mark in total donations.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response of donations large and small as well as the far reaching address of the donors,” Seeliger said.
The funds will be distributed locally to The Salvation Army and The American Red Cross.
“This is a great service that we will be able to provide because of the generosity of the community and leadership of the United Way that will help fill in the gaps to those who need it,” said Salvation Army Lt. Philip Canning.
Each qualified houshold may be eligible to receive up to $2,500 in assistance from The Salvation Army. Assistance is offered for trasportation, storage, home repairs, housing security deposits, storm shelter repairs, and utility assistance.
In order to qualify for assistance, the household must be listed on the official master damage assessment list. Proof of pre-disaster address must be provided. This can be a FEMA Assessment report, driver’s license and/or a utility bill. For transportation assistance, additional documentation is required.
“Our prayer is that these funds raised by the United Way through the generosity of the people of Shawnee and far beyond, will help ease the financial burden felt by so many. We are proud to be a United Way partner agency and look forward to watching this resilient community that we call home get back on its feet,” Canning said.
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The Salvation Army and The American Red Cross will provide the casework for local individuals who can seek aid for transportation, storage and housing and home and shelter related repairs.
Robin Outland Eddy with The American Red Cross said the United Way has always helped in funding their mission in the Shawnee community with help in various areas. She said they have now stepped up in their community during this time.
“We are truly grateful for the United Way, Avedis Foundation and other agencies helping during this disaster,” she said.
Individuals are encouraged to contact The Salvation Army at 405-275-2243 to set up an appointment or The American Red Cross at 405-228-9500 or go to the Multi-Agency Resource Center at Gordon Cooper from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for assistance.
Donations made to the United Way Pottawatomie County Disaster Relief Fund must be exclusively earmarked for the disaster relief fund and may be sent to Finley and Cook Certified Public Accountants, 1421 E. 45th Street, Shawnee, Ok 74804 to be eligible to be matched by the Avedis Foundation.