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The Disaster Fund

The Disaster Fund

The people who run community foundations across the US are a close knit group. So when Terri Lee Freeman heard about the deadly tornadoes in Moore, Okla., she knew what she had to do.

terri lee freemanThe president of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region sent an email to all its donors and supporters asking for donations to the Oklahoma City Tornado Recovery Fund. It's a pot of money for long-term recovery efforts established by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. It plans to donate all of its gifts to help people impacted by the tornadoes. But for Terri, the gesture was a little more personal.



When 9/11 hit the Washington region, Terri sought the guidance of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in setting up a fund to help victims with long-term needs. It had successfully set up a similar survivors fund after the 1995 bombings at the Murrah building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. Terri says president Nancy Anthony guided her through the process of establishing the Survivors' Fund, which was designed as acase management system and gave her tips on how people might seek help. One helpful hint was that first responders are not typically the first to seek help. "We always felt indebted to Oklahoma City for the support they provided us," says Terri.