Central Alabama Tornado Relief Drive donations climb from $167K to $350K

Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 4:36 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2023 at 7:30 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - WSFA 12 News recently teamed up with the Central Alabama and Black Belt Community Foundation for the Central Alabama Tornado Relief Fund, with volunteers taking calls for more than 12 hours.

The money continued to pour in even after the phones stopped ringing. We believed the donations topped an astounding $167,000, but we were wrong. Very wrong.

More than 1,000 donations poured in from 26 different states, with a common refrain being “I’d like to help, but I can only send $15.”

Among those who heard about the fundraiser was a Texas businessman, Investment Corporation of America CEO John Bushman, who then pledged $100,000. And he’s now challenging other business friends in Texas to give, as well.

Thank you so much to our friends from Texas! We are so grateful for your willingness to help by starting the Help Your Neighbor donation drive. Music City Mall

Posted by Central Alabama Community Foundation on Monday, January 23, 2023

To date, the total funds from the Central Alabama Tornado Relief Fund now total $350,000. The money includes a $25,000 donation from WSFA 12 News’ parent company, Gray Television, as well as $25,000 from Regions Foundation, $5,000 from Beasley Allen Law Firm, $5,000 from Jackson Thornton, plus a sizeable donation from Martha’s Place.

100% of the donations will go toward helping all local tornado survivors in their rebuilding and recovery efforts. CACF, which is still taking donations at cacfinfo.org, will be assessing needs alongside county EMAs. Donations can be made to all affected counties or to a specific county. CACF says if there is a donation online and there is a credit card charge, CACF will reimburse that charge.

Autauga County’s EMA is setting up applications for victims to sign up to get help. Elmore County’s EMA already has applications out for victims to get help. Some residents have already received money. Help will also go to victims in Dallas County and other areas.

Seven people died in Autauga County when a large, long-track tornado, along with a number of others, made their way across the state. The damage left behind by the severe weather is still being calculated. The number of homes and buildings destroyed is too many to count.

When disaster strikes, people stepped up to support those in need.

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