ATLANTA, May 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes that ripped through central Oklahoma this week and damaged or destroyed nearly 2,400 homes, Habitat for Humanity will help in the clean-up, repair and rebuilding efforts across the affected area.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to the families affected by this terrible disaster," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. "Habitat has a long history in this area, and we're committed to being there over the long term to help low-income families repair and rebuild their homes and to support communities as they make a new start."
Habitat for Humanity's recovery work in Oklahoma is in addition to efforts already under way near Granbury, Texas, where multiple tornadoes damaged and destroyed houses just days earlier. Of the 60 Habitat for Humanity homes in the Rancho Brazos neighborhood, 57 were either damaged or destroyed after taking a direct hit from an F4 tornado.
Habitat has a goal of raising $5 million to help impacted families repair and rebuild. Immediately after the tornadoes struck Texas, the General Motors Foundation pledged a lead gift of $500,000. In addition, Habitat is deploying three mobile response units to the disaster areas in Texas and Oklahoma. The vehicles, Express vans donated by Chevrolet, are outfitted with tools and equipment donated by the Robert Bosch Tool Corporation and will assist Habitat staff and volunteers in the clean-up, repair and rebuilding process. The vans are scheduled to arrive in the affected areas next week.
Habitat's ability to respond effectively to these disasters will require support from donors, volunteers, corporate partners and other community organizations. Donations to Habitat's $5 million fundraising initiative can be made here.
Habitat's Disaster Response provides technical expertise in home and community rebuilding proven over the years in the assistance provided to more than 100,000 disaster-affected families around the world. Recent responses in the U.S. have taken place in New York City and along coastal New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy; and in Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala., after the 2011 tornadoes.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God's love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 600,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org, or follow us at www.facebook.com/habitat or at www.twitter.com/habitat_org or join Habitat's blog community at www.habitat.org/blog.
SOURCE Habitat for Humanity International