Over $1.4 Million Distributed Through United Way


At 7:44 PM on Thursday, March 14, an EF3 tornado ripped through the Indian Lake region, killing three people, destroying 239 homes, and causing widespread damage to over 1,500 properties and businesses.  The following morning, the United Way Board met in an emergency session and established the Indian Lake Tornado Relief Fund with the goal of supporting immediate and long-term recovery efforts, with an emphasis placed on identifying and fulfilling unmet needs.  100 percent of all donations to the Relief Fund have gone directly to this purpose.

More than 3,000 donors gave $1,560,129 to the Indian Lake Tornado Relief Fund.  Donations poured into our community from 40 states coast to coast, including California, Maine, Washington, and Florida!  Businesses, schools, churches, and groups around Ohio conducted special fundraisers. Several donors have written letters expressing fond memories of growing up here. One woman reminisced about meeting her husband one summer at Indian Lake.

“THANK YOU for entrusting United Way of Logan County with your gift to help tornado victims!” said Dave Bezusko, United Way’s Executive Director.  “YOUR gift served as a difference-making bridge in the gap between the storm and long-awaited government assistance and insurance claims. You helped hundreds of survivors start the rebuilding process, move to new homes, or make down payments on new cars.  We’ve been the recipient of dozens of grateful hugs as victims thank donors from afar whom they will never meet.”

$1,441,378.98 was provided in direct support to 548 affected households (1,231 individuals) of the March 14 tornado.  Affected families began meeting with United Way’s team of caseworkers including social work professionals from Bridges Community Action and Logan County Department of Job & Family Services on Wednesday, April 10.  Through Friday, May 31, here is the breakdown of how tornado victims chose to use their United Way help:

  • 277 home insurance deductibles – $390,765.72
  • 204 home repairs – $368,944.82
  • 137 rents for new or existing housing – $195,762.22
  • 89 utility bills – $32,688.21
  • 76 mortgage payments – $82,878.14
  • 68 auto insurance deductibles – $48,600.17
  • 52 car repairs – $53,924.77
  • 43 security deposits for new housing – $65,716.42
  • 43 car payments – $38,547.72
  • 35 down payments on a new car – $71,685.05
  • 29 hotel stays – $17,537.21
  • 9 student hardship fees – $1,117.46
  • 9 pet cares – $2,520.71
  • 7 prescription medications – $1,314.43
  • 100 “other” expenses, such as storage, generators, food, furniture, appliances, etc.  – $69,375.93

United Way is no longer providing day-to-day direct help on-site at the Multi-Agency Resource Center.  The remaining funds are being turned over to the Logan County EMA’s Long-Term Recovery Team, which is working to identify and fulfill unmet needs after insurance, government, and charitable support.  Those who still need assistance can visit www.uwlogan.org and click the GET HELP tab or call United Way at (937) 592-2886 for more information.