TULSA – Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, last week announced a total of $125,000 in grants from PSO and the American Electric Power Foundation to help those dealing with the impact of a massive windstorm that struck the Tulsa area in June. The area includes residents in Okmulgee County.
AEP Foundation made the lead donation of $75,000 to the Wind Storm Relief Fund, which was established in partnership between Tulsa Area United Way and Tulsa Community Foundation to fund local relief efforts related to hardships from the storms. With support from additional donors, the fund has grown to nearly $800,000.
The fund will make grants to area nonprofit organizations and service providers to cover unexpected storm operating costs and direct services to residents of Tulsa, Wagoner, Creek, Osage, Rogers, and Okmulgee counties affected by the storm.
The fund will emphasize aid to low-income, elderly, disabled and other special needs populations. In August, the first round of grants were distributed to six nonprofit organizations in Broken Arrow, Sand Springs and Tulsa.
The storm ripped trees from the ground and destroyed or damaged more than 1,000 buildings and homes. In the wake of the storm, more than 204,000 PSO customers were without power. As PSO worked to restore power safely and quickly, Tulsa’s nonprofit community was there to help those in need.
In response to the storm, AEP Foundation also donated $25,000 to the American Red Cross. PSO donated an additional $25,000 to the Red Cross Tulsa Area Chapter, which opened an overnight shelter within two hours of the storm, supported 19 cooling stations and served more than 9,000 hot meals at locations throughout the city.
“The destruction of the storm was devastating. Thousands of our customers had their lives turned upside down for days. Many of them are still trying to recover,”PSO President and Chief Operating Officer Leigh Anne Strahler said. “The Red Cross stepped up for our neighbors when the need was urgent, and the United Way will help our community build back stronger.”
AEP Foundation is a charitable private foundation of American Electric Power and its operating subsidiaries, including PSO.
“Our nonprofit community and a network of incredible volunteers responded alongside those who worked heroically to restore power and keep the community safe in days after the storm,” Alison Anthony, President and CEO of the Tulsa Area United Way, said. “We thank AEP Foundation for this important grant and PSO for its advocacy on our behalf and its long record of community leadership.”
“We appreciate AEP Foundation and PSO turning their compassion into action during this storm relief operation, ensuring thousands of Tulsans had the hope and help they needed,” Alice Townsend, American Red Cross Regional CEO, said. “Their financial support means Tulsa is stronger, all of us are stronger.”