Mannford chamber taking donations for fire victims
BY SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer
Friday, August 31, 2012
8/31/12 at 3:35 AM
See photo slideshows of the fire
and its damage, view aerial video from Saturday’s inferno and read previous stories.
MANNFORD - People who wish to donate household items, appliances and other supplies to the hundreds of homeless wildfire victims can still do by contacting the Mannford Area Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber has partnered with the city to store items at several locations until the wildfire victims in Creek County are ready to furnish their new homes and rental spaces.
A fund for long-term recovery also has been set up at American Heritage Bank to help fire victims pay for costs associated with moving back to their home sites.
Repairing damaged waterlines, replacing septic systems and reconnecting electricity from the home to the meter are some of the expenses victims will face when they return to their properties.
Chamber President Rita Bougher said most new or gently-used household items will be accepted, with the exception of clothing, which is no longer needed.
Ideas for giving include dry foods, cleaning supplies, paper goods, small and large appliances, pots and pans, plasticware, mailboxes, doormats, kitchen utensils, bathroom accessories and other miscellaneous items needed for a household.
Bougher said everyone's heart has been in the right place, but she discouraged the donation of worn-out items that didn't sell at a garage sale.
"If people really want to help, buy a place setting for eight and donate it," she said.
Town Administrator Mike Nunneley said donations will be distributed on an application basis when disaster victims are ready to furnish their new accommodations or need funds for infrastructure needs.
Bougher, the chamber president, said they will cross-reference applications with those for funds that might have already been distributed from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army to confirm that applicants were victims of the fire.
The Bank of Oklahoma has established an account for donations in response to the $100,000 challenge grant offered by the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation.
Donations will go into the American Red Cross Wildfire Relief Fund.
That fund was created in response to the fires in Creek and Payne counties.
"The Red Cross is providing vital support to individuals, families and businesses impacted by this devastation," said Pat Piper, executive vice president of consumer banking for Bank of Oklahoma.
"Bank of Oklahoma's partnership with the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation and its work to benefit the Red Cross helps leverage the challenge grant by offering a convenient way for citizens to contribute."
More than $3 million in state and federal aid has gone out to victims of Creek County wildfires earlier this month.
According to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, nearly $2.9 million in housing assistance and more than $207,000 in other needs assistance has been approved for eligible residents.
The maximum grant of $31,400 has gone to 74 qualified applicants since the president declared a disaster on Aug. 22.
Nearly 370 individuals and families have registered with FEMA.
Several ways to contribute to wildfire victims
Household items and appliances: Call the Mannford Area Chamber of Commerce at 918-865-2000 and leave a message with your contact information or send an email to the Chamber at info@mann- fordbc.com. Someone will get back with you to arrange a dropoff time.
Money: Cash donations for long-term recovery needs can be made at any American Heritage Bank in Creek County and the Tulsa metropolitan area.
Checks should be made out to the Mannford Chamber Fire Relief Fund and may be mailed to the Mannford Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 487, Mannford, OK 74044.
Challenge grant: People interested in donating to the American Red Cross Wildfire Relief Fund can do so at any of Bank of Oklahoma's 86 banking centers across the state.
The name of the account - Oklahoma Wildfire Fund - should be noted with the donation. Cash, checks and money orders are accepted.
Donations also are accepted by mail and can be sent to: Bank of Oklahoma, Attn: Sarah Hall, P.O. Box 2300, Tulsa, OK 74172.
The Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation has pledged to match donations up to $100,000.
For more information on the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation challenge grant or the American Red Cross Wildfire Relief Fund, call Elizabeth Frame Ellison at 918-583-2955.
Original Print Headline: Help for fire victims' recovery sought
Susan Hylton 918-581-8381