OG&E will donate $500,000 for storm relief
In the aftermath of this week's ice storm, OG&E parent company OGE Energy Corp. will donate $500,000 to help provide food, water, and temporary housing to Oklahomans impacted by weather damage and power outages.
To administer and allocate the funds, OG&E is partnering with United Way of Central Oklahoma, HeartLine, Inc., the operator of social services hotline 211, and Upward Transitions, Inc. These community organizations will connect Oklahomans with resources through a network of nonprofits working on the front lines of disaster relief efforts.
"Line crews are working tirelessly throughout our service area to quickly and safely restore power to the communities we serve. We know Oklahomans will continue to struggle with lingering impacts caused by this ice storm, which is why we are partnering with United Way to enable non-profits on the front line to do more to help," said OG&E CEO Sean Trauschke.
United Way of Central Oklahoma collaborates with 56 partner agencies to connect people to resources. Debby Hampton, president and CEO of United Way of Central Oklahoma, applauds OG&E's willingness to provide funds to help resource-stressed organizations serve the community at this time of great need.
"United Way of Central Oklahoma is seeing an increasing need for community resources in the wake of this enormous winter storm," said Hampton. "We will use a triage method to assess and advise how to best put this OG&E donation to immediate work, from food shortage issues to temporary housing. This gift will go a long way in helping provide some relief from the hardships caused by this storm. It is my hope OG&E's generosity inspires other organizations to help the community during this difficult time."
United Way of Central Oklahoma agencies HeartLine and Upward Transitions will centralize relief efforts. These agencies will work together to ensure Oklahomans are connected with the right organizations to address their needs. Anyone impacted by storm damage and in need of assistance with temporary housing, food, financial difficulties, mental health, or other concerns is encouraged to dial 211.
OG&E is contributing its logistics expertise and resources to identify and secure housing options. The utility will coordinate with HeartLine and Upward Transitions to support their efforts to identify temporary housing for those impacted as a result of the ice storm.
HeartLine operates 211, the free, 24-hour phone service that provides Oklahomans access to health and human services information. The organization will field calls, assess needs, and connect callers with the most appropriate resources and agencies. Upward Transitions will provide case management to connect the caller to the right resources. They will track requests, provide support and monitor results.
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"HeartLine connects Oklahomans to help, hope, and information – 24 hours a day. This thoughtful donation from OG&E will help us live out our mission," said HeartLine Executive Director Margi Preston. "We look forward to working with the United Way of Central Oklahoma and Upward Transitions to help our neighbors in need."
Since the onset of the storm, OG&E has restored power for more than 200,000 customers in Oklahoma. The company currently has more than 3,300 restoration personnel in the field.