Walgreens mobilizes aid for Okla. tornado survivors

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Responding to Monday’s tornado in the Oklahoma City area, Walgreens mobilized increased shipments of essential supplies to its area stores, made an initial donation of three semi-trailers of food, water and first aid supplies to the Oklahoma chapter of the American Red Cross and offered customers an opportunity to make donations at its Oklahoma drugstores.

The Walgreens store at 1041 S.W. 19th St. in Moore, Okla., suffered severe damage and is temporarily closed. To serve that area’s pharmacy patients, the company plans to locate a temporary pharmacy trailer at the site as soon as possible, and construction workers will begin rebuilding the store this week so it can be reopened for business.

Walgreens increased shipments of items such as food, water, first aid supplies and tetanus shots to keep store shelves and pharmacies stocked with essentials. The company also worked with the Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy to enact emergency procedures that allow pharmacists to help displaced patients refill prescriptions if they lack documentation or an empty prescription bottle.

“Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Moore and the entire Oklahoma City area who suffered such devastating losses,” said Bill Miller, Walgreens market VP for Oklahoma. “They include our neighbors, our customers and our employees, and we want to support them in any way we can.”

At Walgreens drugstores throughout the state of Oklahoma, store employees began inviting customers to make point-of-purchase cash donations to the American Red Cross in amounts of $1, $5 and $10.

At least 18 Walgreens employees suffered property losses, ranging from moderate damage to property and automobiles to homes completely lost. Employees who suffered losses can apply for financial assistance to the Walgreens Benefit Fund, which was established by company founder Charles R. Walgreen Sr. after his death in 1939. The Walgreens Benefit Fund is a nonprofit organization devoted to distributing financial assistance to company employees who experience financial difficulties due to circumstances beyond their control, including natural disasters.