OKLAHOMA CITY – It is almost a year since the destructive storms hit Oklahoma in May 2013.
Relief and recovery efforts continue and millions have already been spent on short-term and long-term needs for storm survivors.
Now, officials say millions are still left over.
Gov. Mary Fallin said, “The total economic loss for our state was over $1 billion.”
As donations poured in, United Way of Central Oklahoma and a fund called OKStrong partnered to help get the money to the victims who survived the storm.
David Thompson, with the United Way of Central Oklahoma, said, “Literally, every dollar that was donated to both of these funds will be spent on disaster relief and recovery. Not a single penny will go to any administrative costs to administer those funds.”
The United Way collected around $15.6 million for immediate needs, like food and clothing.
Over $4.6 million was donated to the OKStrong fund for long-term needs, like legal services and rebuilding.
Together, the groups collected more than $20 million.
So far, less than half has been spent and more than $10 million is still left over.
Fallin said, “In the aftermath, we also knew there would be families that would still face a lot of struggles and challenges in the years to come.”
The leftover money is expected to be spent over the next year for crucial areas like repairs and re-building, and for mental and physical health needs.
Lisa Williams, with Moore Youth & Family Services, said, “The healing process is occurring, but there’s no time limit and there’s no set rules.”
There may be comfort knowing there’s millions still available to help those still in need.
United Way partner agencies also work closely with non-partner agencies like Rebuilding Together and Moore Youth & Family Services.
United Way of Central Oklahoma will provide funding if the agency meets the proper standards.