MOORE — Even though the events of May 20 have passed the three-month mark, several items related to the recovery efforts of the storm were the topic of the Moore city council meeting Sept. 3.
Honored during the meeting were members of Serve Moore, a collaborative effort of multiple churches and organizations working to serve the people of Moore that was formed following the May 20 tornado.
“We very much appreciate what you all have done. There is no way to say thank you enough,” City Manager Steve Eddy said.
Since May 20, Serve Moore has had 34,600 volunteers from around the world serve for the agency, which breaks down to approximately 228,936 volunteer hours and 1,600 families served.
“I just want to say thank you. The first time I heard about you guys was with the volunteers of the cemetery. We were thinking maybe 25 or 30 people would come by the cemetery to pick up trash, and about 1,500 people showed up. That was amazing. We were still looking for people and you just picked it up,” Mayor Glenn Lewis said.
Council members received a presentation from Debby Hampton, executive director of United Way of Central Oklahoma, and Janienne Bella, executive director of Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma, regarding long-term recovery efforts from each agency following May’s tornadoes.
According to Hampton, as of May 20, the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund has received approximately $14.6 million in pledges and donations.
To date, the United Way of Central Oklahoma has dispersed about $5.2 million toward the relief efforts of May storms. The types of needs met by these funds included mental health and trauma counseling for adults and children, debriefing for first responders, restoring the space used for counseling children impacted by the disaster and the immediate needs as requested and verified by partner agencies and collaborating non-partner agencies.