Millions In Donations Could Soon Be Headed to West

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WEST (July 10, 2013) -- As of Tuesday, the Long Term Recovery Center in West attained a 501(c)3 designation from the IRS and can now directly take donations for relief efforts.

The news comes shortly after Gov. Rick Perry appealed FEMA’s decision to deny assistance to the City of West to help rebuild its infrastructure and schools on Monday.

About $3.5 million in privately donated relief funds have remained idle since the West Explosion.

Many of those funds have been received by numerous agencies that set up relief funds for West such as Baylor University, the Waco Foundation, and the Salvation Army.

With a 501(c)3 designation, the Long Term Recovery Center can now be funneled those monies and begin determining the best way to disperse them.

As of Wednesday, The Waco Foundation has collected an estimated $1.7 million for relief efforts in West.

According to Executive Director Ashley Allison, The Waco Foundation will soon work with the Long Term Recovery Center to begin transferring those funds.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Baylor University announced it was giving $290,716 to the First Baptist Church of West to help aid in the remainder of its debris removal project.

According to Baylor spokesperson Lori Fogelman, the money is the total amount collected by the University for West.

However, the Long Term Recovery Center’s Executive Director, Karen Bernsen, says a method for dispersing current and future donations is still to be determined.