United Way distributes $525K for Oso recovery

Apr 09, 2014

Just one week after United Way of Snohomish County established its Disaster Recovery Fund for Mudslide Relief, $1.32 million has been collected, and funds are already being distributed to the community.

“Our deepest thanks to everyone who has donated to Disaster Recovery Fund,” said Dennis Smith, president and CEO of United Way of Snohomish County. “More than 8,000 donations have come in from nearly every state in the country, and we have been overwhelmed with our community’s generosity and support during this difficult time.”

United Way distributed about $525,000 last week to support the families and community service organizations affected by the disaster.

“When we started the Recovery Fund last week, we made a commitment that 100 percent of all dollars raised will go to the recovery effort,” Smith said.

“We also knew that we had two main charges: to start distributing the funds as quickly as possible and to do so in coordination with long-standing partners in these communities. That is exactly what we’re doing.”

Specifically, $400,000 will go directly to families for immediate recovery needs such as temporary housing, child care, food, gas cards, commuting costs and support for local volunteer responders.

United Way is working through the local family support centers in these communities to get these funds into the hands of the affected families.

Of this family support funding, $200,000 will be handled by North Counties’ Family Services (formerly the Darrington Family Support Center) for about 200 families from Darrington whose lives have been severely disrupted by the mudslide.

The remaining $200,000 will go to an Arlington-based family support center, which will be housed at the Arlington Food Bank for the approximately 40 Oso families who have lost their loved ones and their homes.

Up to $125,000 will go to directly support the community groups who are being called on to do so much during this difficult time.

Of this $125,000, $25,000 will support North Counties’ Family Services so they can expand the work they are doing. $100,000 will support a new family support center in Arlington.

United Way also recently gave $3,000 to Green Cross, a community service organization, to support their disaster mental health work, and $3,000 to Catholic Community Services to provide gas cards to the community.

United Way is posting regular updates on its website at uwsc.org and has started a blog (disasterrecoveryfund.blogspot.org) featuring information on the dollars raised, corporate support and where the money is going.

Where the money is coming from:

• $555,034.90 has come in as a direct result of a telethon last week, a series of on-air appeals by KOMO News and includes $10,000 from the Problem Solvers Fund.

• $411.670.00 has come from a series of corporate sponsors including $50,000 each from The Boeing Company, Microsoft, The Starbucks Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. (A full list of corporate sponsors is available on United Way’s website.)

• $353,751.69 has come in from individual donations via United Way’s website.

How to help:

• Individuals and organizations interested in contributing to the fund can find more information on United Way’s website at uwsc.org.

• Or, you can text OSO to 37284 to donate any amount to the Recovery Fund.

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 uwsc.org.

-Edited by Beacon staff

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