(Alexandria, VA) May 5, 2014—On Sunday, Islamic Relief USA’s Disaster Assistance Response Team Director Derrick Lea was engaged in conversation, when he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned to find President Bill Clinton.

President Clinton joined Gail McGovern, President of the American Red Cross, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and the Governor of Arkansas in visiting communities affected by the recent tornado that tore through central Arkansas last week. These high-profile visits refocused media attention on the thousands affected by April 27’s devastating tornado, which killed fifteen, including several children.

“I believe the visits showed Arkansans that our country hasn’t forgotten them,” said Lea, DART Director for Islamic Relief USA. “These communities were already facing hardship. And now their cities are decimated—homes and businesses, and it will take them months to years to recover. What we heard is that they don’t want America to forget them.”

Islamic Relief USA has joined the American Red Cross, FEMA, and local response agencies in supporting recovery efforts in areas affected by the tornado.

IRUSA has been providing emergency humanitarian relief for more than 20 years. Here’s more information about IRUSA’s Arkansas tornado recovery efforts.


Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. Its mission is to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy and disease regardless of color, race, gender or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. Islamic Relief USA aims to provide rapid relief in the event of human and natural disasters and to establish sustainable local development projects, allowing communities to better help themselves. Its programs benefit millions of people each year around the world, including in the United States.

Islamic Relief USA meets all of the Standards for Charity Accountability of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a national charity monitoring group affiliated with the Better Business Bureau system. Islamic Relief USA is on the U.S. government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity list, and it is also a signatory to the code of conduct of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Michelle Strucke

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