United Way gives $45,000 to help send Darrington kids to camp, replace household items
In a continuing effort to address the needs of families impacted by the SR-530 flood and mudslide, United Way is partnering with two highly regarded local organizations.
Up to $24,750 will help Camp Fire USA: Snohomish County Council send 50 children from Darrington to Camp Killoqua this summer. Another $20,000 will help North Sound Society of St. Vincent de Paul distribute full sets of new, pre-packaged household items to those who lost their homes in the March 22 landslide.
"With this funding support, we can provide youth from Darrington a week away from the destruction, isolation and trauma they have been dealing with," said David Surface,executive director of Camp Fire USA: Snohomish County Council. "These kids deserve a break. They've been through so much."
Camp Fire is working with North Counties' Family Services to identify potential participants for sessions in July or August. They will hire additional staff to meet increased demand.
United Way's contribution is expected to cover the costs for half of the children from Darrington who might take part.
St. Vincent de Paul has provided what they call a "House in a Box" to survivors of natural disasters around the country, particularly after the tornadoes in Oklahoma and Hurricane Sandy in the northeast.
"Although we have raised quite a bit of money for this program, we were $20,000 short of being able to provide our 'House in a Box' to families who will need to reestablish their homes," said Jim Kehoe, chief executive of North Sound Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
"United Way is making it possible for us to supply the material goods a family will need – basic bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen items. Our goal is to relieve some of the stress these families are going through."
"Houses in a Box" are given to survivors regardless of whether they owned or rented their previous housing. St. Vincent de Paul waits until FEMA has processed each family's assessment. This way, supplies are not deducted from any funding FEMA may contribute.
Kehoe expects to dispense these items for 30 to 40 families within the next 60 days. United Way's contribution will cover about 40 percent of the costs.
"We are proud to be working with Camp Fire and St. Vincent de Paul to help people begin the process of rebuilding their lives – physically and emotionally," said Dennis G. Smith, president and CEO of United Way of Snohomish County.
"This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. In addition to addressing the immediate needs of survivors, we're also focusing on the long-term. We will be helping the families and communities of Darrington, Oso and Arlington for years to come."
As of Thursday, April 10, United Way has raised $1.54 million for its Disaster Recovery Fund and distributed just over $500,000 to families and communities affected by the landslide. One hundred percent of all dollars raised will be used for the recovery effort.
For more information on United Way's Disaster Recovery Fund for Mudslide Relief and updated details on how much has been raised and how the money has been distributed, visit www.uwsc.org/recoveryfund.php.
United Way is a community impact organization serving Snohomish County for almost 75 years.
In addition to funding 107 programs through 40 agencies with a special focus on local health and human services, United Way of Snohomish County supports a number of initiatives focusing on early learning and education, financial stability for families, a youth program, North Sound 211 and an emerging initiative in survival English.
To find out more about United Way of Snohomish County, including how you can find help, how to volunteer and how United Way serves our community, visit its website at uwsc.org.
-Edited by Beacon staff