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Collaborative Post-Sandy Funding Effort Launches

Funding available to individuals and nonprofits for near and long-term recovery efforts as well as preparedness

United Way of Southeastern Connecticut and The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut have announced a partnership to provide grant opportunities to individuals and organizations impacted by Hurricane Sandy, which struck the region in October 2012. The collaboration and details of how people and organizations can apply were announced at a launch event held at United Way on Friday, March 1. In addition, a report detailing the fund was presented.Our Communities United

Our Communities United…Hurricane Sandy and Her Aftermath is a partnership between the two organizations and consists of several streams of funding available to help the community recover and rebuild from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

“While other groups are focused on immediate relief efforts following a disaster, United Way is uniquely positioned to address longer term recovery and rebuilding efforts,” stated Virginia L. Mason, President & CEO of United Way of Southeastern Connecticut. “The impact of Sandy is still being felt by many and has created a tipping point for families and organizations already struggling during this economy.”

“Partnering with United Way helped us link with an established system for distributing resources in a fair and equitable way,” notes Alice Fitzpatrick, President of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. “We looked beyond our own expertise in making grants to nonprofit agencies and explored smart ways to directly help individuals and families in our region.”

According to Fitzpatrick, a concerned donor expressed an interest in helping storm victims along the shoreline and committed “significant” funds to help restore hope among those whose lives were adversely affected. Added to this stream of funding is a sizeable contribution from the Pfizer Foundation, contributions from several local businesses and individuals, and donations designated to our region through the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund, overseen by United Way of New York City.

Opportunities are available for individuals in both New London and Windham counties suffering losses as a result of Sandy and for organizations adversely impacted by the storm. These funds are intended to meet near and longer term needs that are not covered by insurance or government programs, including FEMA.

Individuals and families interested in applying for assistance should call United Way 2-1-1 to be directed to a trained and experienced Recovery Fund Case Manager located nearest to them. The Case Manager will determine eligibility and apply on behalf of individuals using United Way’s online data management system, a proven model that is also used for United Way’s Project Warm-Up and the New London County Fund to End Homelessness. 2-1-1 is a free call from anywhere in the state of Connecticut and open 24 hours a day.

There is no deadline for individuals to apply for funding. Payments that are approved will be made to vendors and others supporting families and individuals, relying on provider expertise. The online portal will allow for rapid payment and provide documentation and confidentiality.

The Fund for Health and Human Service Organizations will provide grants to nonprofit groups and may also be made to help organizations prepare for future disasters. A Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund Advisory Panel will consist of individuals who currently serve on the local Emergency Food and Shelter Program board as they have extensive experience reviewing and making grant allocation recommendations. The group comprises community members and representatives from nonprofits, businesses, and faith-based and government agencies.

An application and grant guidelines for organizations wishing to apply will be available on March 4 the United Way website at www.uwsect.org/sandyrecovery or at the Community Foundation website at www.cfect.org. The deadline for completed application is Monday, March 25, 2013.

Individuals and businesses that would like to make a donation to the fund can do so online at either www.uwsect.org/give or www.cfect.org.