The Norman Transcript

April 29, 2014

Fund transparency

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — As Oklahomans enter the tornado season, it’s appropriate to look back at the charitable contributions made over the past year in support of the storms’ victims. More than $20 million in cash and pledges were made to the two separate funds set up for storm relief funds.

Accounting for funds in past national disasters has been questioned and Oklahoma officials pledged transparency from the first day that relief checks began coming in.

Officials this past week said about half of the money remains in two funds, and they plan to spend it helping victims in the next year.

The United Way fund received about $15.6 million in donations and about $4.6 million in Gov. Mary Fallin’s OKStrong fund.

Those include the major country music concerts in Oklahoma City and Norman.

The amounts do not include donations made to other charities such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

The biggest chunk of the funds spent so far have gone toward individual victims’ needs. That included temporary housing, transportation, appliances, clothing, food and debris removal, as well as counseling, support for first responders and therapy sessions.

The transparency is appreciated and will help Oklahomans in their generosity when the need arises again.

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