Red Cross receives major donation for wildfire response


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Updated: 11/14/2012 6:02 pm Published: 11/14/2012 5:48 pm


More than three months after a wildfire devastated Creek County, homes are being rebuilt and so are many lives.

The American Red Cross helped many of those victims. The agency spent more than $420,000 in relief efforts. Wednesday, the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation presented the Red Cross with a check for $237,000.

"When your house is destroyed by a fire you have nothing left at all. It's just ashes," said Lobeck Taylor Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth Frame Ellison.

The organization agreed to match donations up to $100,000. Tulsa Community Foundation and the Bank of Oklahoma along with donations from people in Green Country helped the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation beat the expectation.

For Joe Anaya, a wildfire victim, it goes along way. His family was left homeless when the wildfire burned down their home.
 
"It's been hell. I never want to go through this again,” said Joe Anaya, a wildfire victim.

The memory of the fire burning his home to ash is still very painful for him. However, he considers himself very lucky because organizations like the Red Cross were there.

"I feel for everyone who went through this," Anaya told FOX23.

More than 58,000 acres were burned and hundreds of homes were lost in August.

"After a disaster like this you don't know who to turn to, you don't know what the next step is," he said.

Red Cross helped Anaya with food, shelter and the clothes his family needed to begin the rebuilding process.

"You can't put a dollar amount on how much they did help,” he said.

Clearly, it’s more than about money but the Red Cross told FOX23 they were able to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to families in our area recovering from the wildfires.

"We weren't just a number to them,” said Anaya. “We were actual people going through a disaster."

The Red Cross spent 12,400 hours helping the wildfire victims.
Many of them also got assistance from FEMA.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Gladys Crump - 11/15/2012 12:30 AM
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Nice thing to do, but you should have donated the money to the people who are homeless, the Director of the Red Cross makes $897,000 per year, and I'm sure a raise is in store after your generous donation. I will donate blood, but I give money to the victims, that way I know they get it and not the overpaid Red Cross Director.
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