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Auto Industry Steps Up to Help Tornado Victims

May 23, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY — In response to the tornado that struck there on Monday and claimed the lives of 24 people and injured hundreds, auto manufacturers, industry trade group and finance source are providing resources to the affected area.

Ally Financial announced it will make a $10,000 donation to the American Red Cross to support Oklahoma tornado disaster relief efforts. Additionally, Ally will match contributions made by its employees nationwide to eligible nonprofit organizations.

The company also recognized Knipplemeir Chevrolet, Patriot Ford and Kelsey Buick GMC for banding together to make a donation to the America Red Cross and asked other dealers to join their effort.

“These dealers are local heroes who work tirelessly in their community throughout the year and step up their efforts even more when their community is in need,” said Mike Kimmel, Ally regional vice-president. 

Similarly, the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation is making financial assistance available through its emergency relief fund for dealership employees affected by the disaster.

“We already know of nearly 60 dealership employees who have suffered either total loss of their homes or significant damage,” said David Hyatt, the NADA’s vice president of public affairs.

Peter Hodges, president of the Metro Auto Dealers Association of Oklahoma City, said its charitable foundation began distributing checks Tuesday to some of the dealership employees hardest hit by the tornado. “But we will soon run out of money,” he said. “I have also distributed information to let the employees know how to apply for financial assistance from the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund.”

The General Motors Foundation is pledging $50,000 and Chevrolet is donating a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup to Forgotten Harvest to assist with the organization’s “Help 4 Oklahoma” campaign, which is designed to get supplies to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

Selim Bingol, GM’s global vice president of communications and public policy and the chairman of the GM Foundation, added: “Our employees want to help and will volunteer locally at Forgotten Harvest, and we will engage our plants and other facilities across the U.S. to collect food to help this effort.”

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