Office Depot Foundation Supports Short- and Long-Term Relief and Recovery Efforts Following Oklahoma Tornadoes
Foundation Has Longstanding Partnership with Oklahoma City-Based Feed The Children
BOCA RATON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Office Depot Foundation is supporting relief and recovery efforts following the devastating EF-5 tornado in Oklahoma with immediate contributions to local non-profit organizations and plans to continue to assist in the weeks and months ahead.
"This tragedy has touched us on a very personal level," said Mary Wong, President of the independent, non-profit Office Depot Foundation, which serves as the primary charitable giving arm of Office Depot (NYS: ODP) . "Office Depot has half a dozen stores in the Oklahoma City area, including one in Moore that was narrowly missed by the tornado. We are grateful that the store was not damaged, but a tragedy of this magnitude clearly has an impact on our associates and our customers throughout the region."
The Office Depot Foundation has a longstanding relationship with Feed The Children - the Oklahoma City-based international relief organization - and has partnered with it to help people affected by Hurricane Sandy, the 2011 tornadoes in Tuscaloosa and Joplin, and other natural disasters. To assist the residents of the hard-hit areas, the Foundation is donating $20,000 to Feed The Children to deploy food and essential relief supplies in Moore and other areas of Oklahoma and northern Texas.
"We have an extremely close partnership with Feed The Children; in fact its director of education programs, Erin Carlstrom, serves on the Office Depot Foundation Board of Directors," Wong noted. "Fortunately, Erin and all of our colleagues at Feed The Children are safe, as are its headquarters and distribution facility, but several employees lost their homes. We are pleased to be able to assist our friends at Feed The Children at this extremely difficult time."
The Office Depot Foundation is responding to the disaster in a number of other ways:
The Foundation is donating $5,000 to the Central Oklahoma Humane Society to help with efforts to care for rescued pets and reunite them with their owners.
In light of the fact that two elementary schools in Moore were destroyed by the tornado and numerous families with school-age children lost their homes, the Foundation plans to donate a minimum of 3,000 children's sackpacks containing essential school supplies to the Moore Public School System and will host a Back-to-School Celebration event in Oklahoma City as part of the 2013 Office Depot Foundation National Backpack Program.
Through the end of June, Office Depot customers in Oklahoma can assist with the recovery efforts by making donations in the change collection cans in Office Depot stores across the state. All funds collected will be donated to Feed The Children.
The Foundation will support the work of Lutheran Church Charities' LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Team as the Comfort Dogs and their handlers spend time with children and families in the Moore community.
As is always the case after disasters of this nature, the Foundation will assist with business recovery and rebuilding efforts through its sponsorship of the National Disaster Help Desk for Business, which is managed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center. This 24-hour hotline can be reached toll-free at 1-888-MY-BIZ-HELP (1-888-692-4943). It provides essential information, expert guidance and connections to invaluable resources at times when people frequently feel overwhelmed by the impact of the disaster. The Help Desk can also be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
About the Office Depot Foundation
The Office Depot Foundation is an independent foundation − tax exempt under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3) − that serves as the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot, Inc. In keeping with its mission, Listen Learn Care®, the Foundation supports a variety of programs that give children tools to succeed in school and in life; build the capacity of non-profit organizations through collaboration and innovation; and help communities prepare for disasters, as well as recovering and rebuilding afterwards. For more information, visit www.officedepotfoundation.org.
About Feed The Children
Founded in 1979, Feed The Children's mission is to provide hope and resources for those without life's essentials. A BBB Wise Giving Alliance accredited charity, Feed The Children is one of the largest charities based in the U.S., providing more than 350,000 children around the world with a hot, nourishing meal every day. Here in the U.S., nearly 10 million people receive assistance each year from food and supplies distributed through over 1,200 local partner agencies. For more information, visit www.feedthechildren.org
Office Depot Foundation
Leon Rubin, 561-251-8075
KEYWORDS: United States North America Florida Oklahoma
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