The Catoosa Teachers Federal Credit Union at 25 Gateway Business Park Drive in Ringgold is accepting donations to benefit the Oklahoma tornado relief efforts. (Catoosa News photo/Adam Cook)
The Catoosa Teachers Federal Credit Union is currently stepping up to the plate to exemplify its philosophy of “people helping people” by setting up a tornado relief account to help with the rebuilding processes that is underway following a deadly storm that ravaged the town of Moore, Okla., on May 20.
“We all went through the same thing here just a couple of years ago, and now we’re hoping that people will come to the aid of the victims in Oklahoma the way that people did for the victims here,” said Terri Queen, marketing director for the credit union. “The Georgia Credit Union Foundation set up an account for Ringgold’s relief in 2011, and as a result of that, 15 members of our Catoosa union here received a check for their rebuilding needs.”
Just before 3 p.m. on Monday, May 20, an EF-5 tornado cut a 17-mile-long path of death and destruction through the Moore community, claiming the lives of 24 individuals, 10 of whom were small children.
A total of 337 were injured during the storm, with 30,000 people left homeless.
Now the Credit Union Foundation is coming together once again to help in an area of desperate need.
“All the money we take in will go towards helping those in need over there,” said Linda Carver, president and CEO of the Catoosa union. “Our foundation has helped in many crisis situations such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. This hopefully will be a way for people in our community to contribute to something that really hits home.”
During the Oklahoma storm, three credit unions were damaged. In one case, a branch of Tinker Federal Credit Union was destroyed.
Luckily, all of the people who were in the building when the storm hit survived by taking shelter in the union’s vault, which was the only part of the building left standing.
“There were 28 customers and employees huddled in that vault and they survived,” Carver said. “We haven’t forgotten what we went through here (when a tornado struck in April 2011), and we certainly haven’t forgotten how the foundation helped our community in 2011.”
Anyone wishing to make a donation or obtaining more information can do so by visiting the Catoosa union at 25 Gateway Business Park Drive in Ringgold, or by contacting Terri Queen at 706-965-2422.
All checks can be made payable to the “GCUF Oklahoma Tornado Disaster Relief Fund.”