Survivors of the May tornadoes that ravaged several Oklahoma neighborhoods and rural communities recently received free household items to help them start anew.
Several Roman Catholic nonprofit organizations and agencies recently teamed up with the United Way of Oklahoma City for the “House in a Box” disaster assistance program. As part of the effort, tornado survivors were invited to shop for free household goods on July 20 in Oklahoma City.
The collaboration included the National Council of the U.S. Society of St. Vincent de Paul, plus the Society of St. Vincent de Paul's Oklahoma City Council and south central region. Other partners included the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City and the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Also in attendance at the recent Oklahoma City outreach were corporate representatives from Ashley Furniture and Mathis Mattresses, two companies that donated mattresses for the effort, courtesy of Tempurpedic.
Organizers said “House in a Box” supplies critical items to furnish an entire home, including furniture, dishes, towels, toiletries, food and clothing.
The program was introduced to help survivors of Hurricane Katrina and it was refined during the Texas wildfires of 2011. During Hurricane Katrina, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul provided about 15,000 “House in a Box” setups, they said.