Assisting neighbors after the storm
From the desk of Chief Gregory E. Pyle
The devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma left many families homeless and hurting. That is why the people of the Choctaw Nation donated fuel proceeds for one week from our 11 travel plazas to the Salvation Army relief efforts. This money from the fuel sales, along with donations collected since the storms, totaled $50,000, and was sent to assist the victims of the recent Oklahoma tornadoes.
The morning following the Moore storm, some of the Choctaw tribal safety officers were on-site to assist with initial efforts, and other teams have been assembled to volunteer as other resources are needed in areas such as cleanup of the debris and cooking meals for the victims and those helping in disaster relief. The Choctaw Emergency Assistance Office has been working with individual families who were impacted by the Shawnee, Moore and El Reno tornadoes.
Oklahomans have always been resilient, and the Choctaws have helped set a foundation for that endurance and determination. Since the Trail of Tears in 1831 until now, Choctaws have had our ups and downs, and have always been strong, recovering from adversity thanks to the grace of God and support of our loved ones.
Helping others is ingrained into Choctaws – our ancestors taught us to help wherever possible, just as Choctaw people in 1847 gave generously to the Irish during the Potato Famine. Our tribe continues to reach out to those in need today.
The prayers of myself, my family and the Council are with the families and friends of those who have lost people who are dear to them in the storms, as well as those who have lost homes. We are blessed to be able to help through the Choctaw Nation in the recovery effort. The Choctaw Nation is committed to supporting our communities in good times and in these times of need.