Hinkle worked with his employer, First American Bank of Norman, to set up an emergency website since district computer servers and electricity were knocked out, taking down the foundation website, as well. First American created a webpage with the capability to receive online credit card donations.
Gifts came from all over the country — from Hurricane Sandy survivors in New York and tornado survivors in Alabama, to school children who held penny campaigns and sent handmade greeting cards. ATX Mafia, an Austin-based T-shirt company, donated $65,000 by designing and selling T-shirts specifically to benefit the Moore Schools’ relief effort. An anonymous corporate donor gave $500,000, designated to help rebuild an underground locker room at Central Junior High, which was flooded in a secondary storm one week after the initial tornado.
Through its 501(c)(3) status, the Moore foundation has been able to partner with other organizations and community groups to sponsor fundraisers benefiting the schools. The biggest effort was an Adopt-a-Teacher program organized by some community leaders, which provided $2,000 for affected teachers, primarily at Briarwood and Plaza Towers, to purchase supplies for their temporary classrooms. During reconstruction, their schools are currently housed in Emmaus Baptist Church and a secondary building at Central Junior High School.
Because of the timeline for getting FEMA and insurance money in place and the restrictions of school purchase orders and fiscal year requirements, Hinkle said the district was concerned about giving teachers enough time to get supplies for their new classrooms.
“Through the Adopt-a-Teacher program, we were able to get money to those teachers immediately so they could start buying materials for their classes well before school started,” Hinkle said. “This gave them a jumpstart on making their classrooms as superb as they could be for those kids coming back. The last time those kids were in school was a very scary day, so we wanted to make it as welcoming as we could for them.”