Poarch Band of Creek Indians gives $500K to relief effort

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribe has donated one half million dollars to the tornado relief efforts.

"I think everyone who has seen the pictures of the destruction caused by the tornadoes that struck our State wants to help any way that they can," said Tribal Chairman Buford Rolin. "We hope this donation will help begin to ease some of the suffering of our neighbors."

Members of the Poarch Creek Tribal Council voted Thursday to make the donation after touring the destruction last week.

Both the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa Chapters of the American Red Cross will receive $50,000. The Tribe will donate $100,000 to Governor Bentley's Emergency Relief Fund.

The remaining $300,000 will go to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Disaster Relief Fund to assist in additional disaster relief efforts that will be distributed according to local needs throughout the affected areas.

"All of us at Poarch Creek still remember how relief organizations like the Red Cross helped us after Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis hit our area," noted April Sells, Tribal Emergency Management Director for the Poarch Creeks.  "We had so many people in the area without food, water, electricity, or ice. Thanks to the Red Cross, we were able to feed everyone in the community twice a day after the storm and take care of their basic needs."

The Poarch Creek Indians are descendents of a segment of the original Creek Nation, which once covered almost all of Alabama and Georgia.  Unlike many eastern Indian tribes, the Poarch Creeks were not removed from their tribal lands and have lived together for almost 200 years in and around the reservation in Poarch, Alabama. The reservation is located eight miles northwest of Atmore, Alabama in rural Escambia County, and 57 miles east of Mobile.