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Healing in the Heartland concert raises at least $6 million

Wednesday night's “Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert” hosted by Blake Shelton and NBC raised more than $6 million in pledges and ticket sales for the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: May 30, 2013 at 7:27 pm •  Published: May 31, 2013

Wednesday night's “Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert” hosted by Blake Shelton and NBC raised more than $6 million in pledges and ticket sales for the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund.

Karla Bradshaw, United Way of Central Oklahoma spokeswoman, said there was about $3 million in the relief fund before the concert. Thanks to Shelton's concert, the fund should now top $9 million. Bradshaw said 100 percent of the concert's proceeds will go to the fund.

The United Way does not finance entire agencies; rather, it supports programs those agencies administer, she said.

During the tornado relief efforts, the United Way of Central Oklahoma has worked with several of its 61 partner agencies. These agencies include the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army.

Those partner agencies are working with survivors to provide gift cards, cash cards and other services they need.

Recovery is a process performed in phases, starting with first responders and emergency relief efforts, Bradshaw said.

“The things that they've got to have tomorrow, those needs have been met,” she said. “So now we're moving into that second phase, like, ‘Where are you going to live?'”