After Lethal Tornado, Okla. Local Launches Relief Fund

May 23, 2013

The mile-wide tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., May 20 killed dozens and left a swath of destroyed homes, businesses and schools in its wake.

But in a state where strong ties have helped friends and neighbors lean on each other in the worst of times – as in the aftermath of the 1995 terrorist bombing of the Murrah Federal Building – Oklahoma City Local 1141 members are stepping up to help their own who lost homes in one of the worst natural disasters the state has ever seen.

Local leaders have established a relief fund to raise money for members upended by the storm. A post on the local’s Web site reads:

As of11:10 am 05/22/2013, we are aware ofseven Local 1141 members with unlivable homes, and an additionaleight with significant damage. Andstillno serious injuries reported!

Local 1141 Business Agent Jim Griffy said that the spirit of union solidarity – mixed with a local culture of neighborliness and resiliency – has been on full display since the disaster. Many area unions and their members have already contributed to the fund.

“Everyone wants to help, and it’s a real miracle that we’ve had no one get seriously hurt,” Griffy said. “It’s always heartening to be reminded that even after terrible things happen, your union brothers and sisters are right there to help you.” He said that the union hall, which is about 10 miles from the path of the tornado, was unscathed.

Click here to learn how to make a donation to the IBEW 1141 Tornado Fund. Local leaders have asked that if donors have questions, e-mailing with the subject line “tornado” is preferable to phone calls due to staffing availability.

“We appreciate any amount anyone could spare to help these IBEW families who have lost everything,” said Local 1141 Business Manager Joe P. Smith, who is also a member of the International Executive Council.


Photo used under a Creative Commons License from Flickr user The National Guard.