How The Red Cross Uses Your Tornado Relief Donations - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

How The Red Cross Uses Your Tornado Relief Donations

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And while resources head out the door, even more come flooding in. And while resources head out the door, even more come flooding in.
"As soon as a disaster hits, Red Cross resources and supplies are going out the door," said Donita Quesnel, of the Eastern Oklahoma Red Cross. "As soon as a disaster hits, Red Cross resources and supplies are going out the door," said Donita Quesnel, of the Eastern Oklahoma Red Cross.
The Red Cross says, if you pay with a check, you can send your money to specific communities, by writing the town name on the memo line. The Red Cross says, if you pay with a check, you can send your money to specific communities, by writing the town name on the memo line.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Thousands of people have answered the call for help following the storms that devastated Oklahoma last week, many of them by donating cash to the Red Cross.

But there's a lot of misinformation out there about where exactly your money is going.

Giving to the Red Cross is, in some ways, like paying it forward. That's because some of the aid used to help Oklahomans was leftover from disasters elsewhere, which means a portion of the funds raised now could help other states in the future.

Still, there are ways to ensure your money stays here in the state.

The relief efforts in central Oklahoma are relentless.

"Red Cross has been great, the churches were excellent," said Shawnee resident Richard Chriss.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

American Red Cross volunteers were deployed in advance of the storm, making it to the disaster-stricken areas well before those tornadoes turned the lives of thousands upside down.

"As soon as a disaster hits, Red Cross resources and supplies are going out the door," said Donita Quesnel, of the Eastern Oklahoma Red Cross.

And while resources head out the door, even more come flooding in. Quesnel said the number of text donations skyrocketed, immediately following the twisters.

"It was clear to us and clear to the Red Cross that people were intending those funds to go to the people in Moore, so all of the text donations that have been made since May 20 are being designated for the Oklahoma tornadoes," Quesnel said.

Quesnel said those donations will go to storm victims in the state until the texting levels return to normal, and then some of that money will go back into a general relief fund to help with future disasters.

But the Red Cross says, if you pay with a check, you can send your money to specific communities, by writing the town name on the memo line.

5/27/2013 Related Story: Shawnee Tornado Victims Find Help At Command Central

Any donation that doesn't have a designation will feed that national fund.

"The Red Cross is responding all across the country, and it's those un-designated donations that allow us do that at any given time," Quesnel said. "And it's those donations that made it possible for the Red Cross to respond so quickly after those storms hit Moore, Shawnee and those other communities that have been affected right here at home."

And while some of the collected funds are being used today, the Red Cross says other donations are being put away to help families months or even years down the road.

As of May 23, $15 million in donations came in for Oklahoma, and 91 cents of every dollar goes toward disaster relief, while the rest goes toward existing expenses.

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