American Red Cross Text Donations Not Specifically For Oklahoma Tornado Victims, Spokesperson Says

  @ZoeMintzz.mintz@ibtimes.com on May 22 2013 10:01 AM
Moore, Okla., Tornado
A man leads two children through debris after a huge tornado struck Moore, Okla., Monday. Reuters

UPDATED 11:49 A.M.

After the deadly tornado in Moore, Okla., Kevin Durant pledged to donate $1 million, David Spade gave $200,000 and Matt Kemp tweeted he would open his checkbook for the American Red Cross’ disaster relief efforts. But the organization revealed that the “several million” given in text donations are not specifically designated for the disaster relief efforts in Oklahoma, NewsOK reports.

"It's true that texts to 90999 go towards Disaster Relief. These donations are used to help people affected by tornadoes like the one in Moore and, the one Sunday in nearby Shawnee, the tornadoes several days ago in Texas, and other severe weather such as floods, and other crises," the American Red Cross said in Facebook statement to the International Business Times. "We don’t ask at Red Cross shelters outside of Oklahoma City whether the people seeking our help are from the Moore tornado or the Shawnee tornado. They’re all tornado survivors, and they all need our help."

Ann Marie Borrego, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., told NewsOK some of the text donations will go to help Oklahoma recover, noting that the American Red Cross has delivered food, shelter, first aid, mobile kitchens and counseling to Moore tornado victims.

A representative for the organization’s local chapter in Oklahoma promised that the money donated there will be used for disaster relief in the Sooner State, NewsOK reports.

In the nonprofit’s official statements, the American Red Cross has been up front about where text donations will go.

In a press release issued on Monday, the day of the deadly tornado, the American Red Cross indicated that texting REDCROSS to 90999 will make a $10 donation to its disaster relief fund and will give “support to those affected by disasters like the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas.”

The American Red Cross has been listed by numerous news outlets as an organization to donate to in order to help those affected by the deadly EF5 tornado that killed 24 people. Some Oklahoma residents feel the information was misleading.

“I don't disagree with helping others,” Alicia Sullivan, an Oklahoma City resident, told NewsOK. “But it should be known to the public that if you're giving a million to help your neighbors that not all of that million might be going to help them. They should make this clear to people.”

The American Red Cross maintains it is committed to helping victims in Moore.

"I can promise you that we will spend what it takes to meet the needs of the Moore OK community, which was so devastated," an American Red Cross spokesperson told the International Business Times.

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