Millions of Dollars Pledged to Support Oklahoma Tornado Victims

As communities across Texas and Oklahoma work to clear the rubble and debris left by violent storms earlier in the week, including a devastating tornado that struck parts of Oklahoma City on Monday, killing dozens and injuring many more, a growing number of businesses, individuals, and organizations have pledged funds to relief and recovery efforts.

They include Walmart, which pledged $1 million in cash and in-kind contributions to help meet the needs of tornado victims in Oklahoma; and UPS, which committed $250,000 in cash and in-kind contributions to the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma, Operation Hope, the St. Bernard Project, and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster to implement a recovery plan in the Oklahoma cities of Moore, Cleburne, and Shawnee. The commitment by UPS is in addition to a $550,000 donation it made to the ARC's annual disaster giving program last month.

Elsewhere, Love's Travel Stops announced $3 million in donations for immediate and long-term relief efforts in Oklahoma, including $1 million to the OK Strong Relief Fund established by Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin and $500,000 to Catholic Charities. The remaining $1.5 million will support a benefit event to help those affected by the storm.

On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that the Inasmuch Foundation and the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation had awarded $2 million to the United Way of Central Oklahoma, which will distribute the funds to its partner agencies working on tornado relief efforts. In addition, National Basketball Association star Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder pledged $1 million to the ARC, as did the Thunder and the NBA and NBA players' union.

According to the mGive Foundation, donations made via mobile phone for relief and recovery efforts have topped $3.3 million, with the bulk of that — some $2 million — raised in just twenty hours.

"Officials say the recovery from this disaster will top $3 billion," said mGive Foundation executive director Jenifer Snyder, "and mobile donations give everyone the ability to help make a difference when we see the devastation in people's lives from a tragedy like this....We can all be everyday philanthropists, saving the world one text at a time."