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NEWS RELEASE: Operation USA to Provide Increased Aid For Tornado-Ravaged Areas

By • May 31st, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Los Angeles-based non-governmental agency seeks donations supporting relief efforts in Oklahoma

Los Angeles, Calif., May 31, 2013 – Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based international relief agency, announced today that it will elevate relief efforts in the Oklahoma City area after tornadoes swept the area and damaged communities for the second time in less than two weeks.

On Friday evening, 11 days after a EF5 tornado destroyed a 19-mile stretch of Moore, OK, tornadoes touched down outside Oklahoma city, causing additional damage in the Moore area and surrounding communities. Ongoing relief efforts on behalf of those displaced by the May 20 storm have come to a temporary halt amidst severe weather systems, while new needs for recovery and relief are emerging across the state.

“The American public has been very generous, but more funds are needed for the recovery and rebuilding phases, and to restore small nonprofit community resources,” said Richard Walden, CEO of Operation USA. “Government agencies are responding at all levels, as are the large institutional charities — but small, community-based nonprofits do not share in those resources, and they need our help in order to help the people of Oklahoma.”

All funds collected by the organization on behalf of Oklahoma tornado relief will be allocated to local agencies on the ground in tornado-affected areas.

Earlier this week, Operation USA delivered a shipment of electric generators to Oklahoma, with more in reserve to be delivered as needed. The organization has also readied a supply of in-kind donations, including food, cooking utensils, clothing, health care, education materials, and janitorial supplies for distribution through local partners.

Operation USA is requesting that those wishing to offer assistance at this time do so with a monetary donation. The organization will make grants to community-based organizations as they rebuild over the next several months.

HOW TO HELP:
To help relief efforts in Oklahoma, donate online at donate.opusa.org, by phone at 1-800-678-7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, 7421 Beverly Blvd., PH, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Donations can also be made via text message: text AID to 50555 to donate $10. Text donations are collected for the benefit of Operation USA by the mGive Foundation and subject to the terms found at www.mGive.org/t.

United and Continental air miles can be donated to Operation USA through United Airlines Charity Miles program at www.united.com.

About OPERATION USA:
Founded in 1979, Operation USA helps communities alleviate the effects of disasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately-funded relief, reconstruction and development aid throughout the world. The Los Angeles based non-government organization offers material and financial assistance to community-based organizations that promote sustainable development, leadership and capacity building, income generating activities, education, health services, and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable people. Learn more at www.OpUSA.org.

About Richard Walden:
Richard Walden is President, CEO and Founder of Operation USA. Walden, an attorney, served as California Commissioner of Hospitals for five years. He has served on the boards of InterAction, a consortium of 195 international nongovernmental organizations which Walden co-founded in 1984, and of the Institute for International Mediation & Conflict Resolution (IIMCR) in Washington, D.C. He has taught conflict resolution at IIMCR seminars in The Hague and in Prague. He also served on the Advisory Board of The Asia Society and is an elected member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. Walden is available as an expert source for press engagements locally in Los Angeles.

PRESS CONTACT:
Mary Dolan
Operation USA
mdolan@opusa.org
323-413-2353

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