Cherokee Nation assists in tornado recovery


The Cherokee Nation donated over 21,000 bottles of water and Gatorade to send to tornado victims.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. —The Cherokee Nation is helping with tornado recovery efforts in the Oklahoma City area by activating a licensed counselor specializing in treating trauma patients and employees trained in warehouse supply logistics to coordinate donations.

The Cherokee Nation is also donating 17,280 bottles of water and 4,320 bottles of Gatorade to Native Americans affected by the Oklahoma tornado. The tribe will deliver the supplies, along with donations of diapers, wipes, formula, rain ponchos, sunscreen and other items of need, to the Citizen Potawatomi distribution site next week.

“I thank our employees and our citizens for the outpouring of support in this time of recovery in Oklahoma. At the Cherokee Nation, the spirit of community is unwavering and it is a value we hold in highest regard,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “The displaced victims are in desperate need for basic life necessities. We will continue to play a role in collecting and distributing vital supplies like bottled water. Other nonperishable goods will still be collected at the Cherokee Nation complex.”

On Tuesday, Tim Kidd, assistant manager of human services and family assistance, was inside an Oklahoma State Emergency Management warehouse in Norman delegating where to place crates of donated diapers, baby food, pet food, tools, hygiene products and first aid kits coming in by the semi-truckloads. Kidd was trained in the Army in military warehouse logistics and has extensive experience in warehouse management for disaster areas.

“As Cherokee Nation citizens and staff, the tribe has the expertise to help, and when we are called on, we are more than glad to help,” Kidd said. “It is a joint effort between multiple agencies, and we will do whatever we can.”

Along with Kidd, of Tahlequah, the tribe also sent Maintenance Skilled Laborer Rodrick Luper on Memorial Day, with a box truck to assist in the recovery. Salina’s A-Mo Health Center licensed professional counselor Eddie Melton was deployed over the weekend to Little Axe, a small town east of Norman, after the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps requested mental health professionals be sent to the affected areas. Melton worked in the multi-agency resource center to provide psychological first aid and assist with survivors getting necessary referrals. He returned Monday.

The Cherokee Nation is also actively collecting donations. The tribe sent seven pallets of bottled water to the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. Another semitrailer with supplies, donated by the public at Lakes Country 102.1, Northeastern State University and Cherokee Casino Tahlequah, will be sent to the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s recovery center, the City of Shawnee and possibly the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma next week.

The public can still donate the following items from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday, May 31 at Sequoyah Schools in front of The Place Where They Play. Items include: Gatorade, diapers, baby wipes, baby formula, shop towels, pet food, ibuprofen and work gloves.

Cherokee Nation News Release
Julie Hubbard - 918-207-3896 

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