United Way distributes Gifford Area Relief Fund Donations

CHAMPAIGN, IL (11/25/2013) – Generous donations to United Way’s Gifford Area Relief Fund are being distributed today to local organizations assisting with the tornado recovery efforts in Gifford, Illinois. Over $82,000 has been collected in the past week, and donations continue to arrive daily. United Way is passing on all funds collected without any administrative or overhead fees.
United Way staff was in Gifford last week, working directly with organizations for the initial disaster response. The organizations have identified the areas of highest need as the community continues to recover. $45,000 is being released today, with additional funds released in the coming weeks.
EDUCATION
Gifford School District
$10,000 to assist with student transportation. By law, the school district is required to provide transportation to their homeless students, wherever they reside, even in the case of a disaster. Funds will assist the district in transporting children to school. Getting students back to school and in a routine is a large step towards recovery for the community.
 
Champaign-Ford Counties Regional Office of Education
$5,000 for Homeless Gifford School Children & Families. They are currently working to house, clothe and equip for school Gifford children and their families. ROE #9 works year round addressing homeless children in their region. These funds will provide a specific focus on school-aged children in Gifford.
FAMILY ASSISTANCE
The Gifford State Bank
United Way and The Gifford State Bank are pleased to announce a partnership for Family Assistance. All United Way undistributed funds will be transferred to The Gifford State Bank for distribution directly to families. “We are sharing more than financial resources,” said Tony McLain, President, Gifford State Bank. “United Way has expertise in managing and distributing funds, and will assist our committee in planning and distributing to the community”. More information on the Bank’s application process for assistance will be available soon.
 
Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County (CSCNCC)
$10,000 for Family Assistance. The CSCNCC has been serving the residents of Northern Champaign County for 42 years. They will offer families food pantry services, gasoline cards, utility assistance and general social services.
 
American Red Cross – Central Illinois Chapter
$10,000 for Disaster Services. The Red Cross has been on-site 24/7 since the tornado with food, shelter, and case management. Funds will allow the Red Cross to continue their services uninterrupted.
 
The Salvation Army
$10,000 for Canteen Services. The Salvation Army has been in Gifford since the disaster providing assistance and food to volunteers and residents, as well as social service assistance. Funds will allow the Salvation Army to continue their services uninterrupted.
 
Several local businesses helped United Way raise the funds for Gifford. $54,000 of the total was collected on November 20th during an all-day fundraiser at WCIA 3 News. Illini Radio Group’s donation drive on November 21st brought in over $10,000.
“Disaster recovery is a long process. We hope that the funds distributed today will help the people of Gifford get back to a new normal as soon as possible – particularly, helping children get back into school and families with food, safe shelter and case management. We are proud to be part of the recovery efforts in this great Champaign County community.”
 
photograph copyright 2013 Karyl Wackerlin
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