December 14, 2011 (Lebanon, NH) The effort to assist Upper Valley residents as they recover from the devastation left by Tropical Storm Irene has received a big boost. Upper Valley Strong, a collaborative long-term relief effort of approximately 50 local non-profit agencies, churches, schools and governmental bodies that came together to respond to the needs of disaster victims, was recently awarded a combined grant of $75,000 from Granite United Way, the NH Charitable Foundation and The Vermont Community Foundation.
“The decision to support Upper Valley Strong was an easy one for our volunteers. Granite United Way recognizes the importance of working together, especially when disaster strikes. This collaboration of community leaders has already proven to be a valuable asset for Upper Valley residents working to rebuild,” said Patrick Tufts, President & CEO, Granite United Way. Following the disbursement of FEMA funds, groups like the Upper Valley Haven, COVER, SEVCA and the Upper Valley Housing Coalition will assess current needs, combine resources and expertise to meet those needs and mobilize volunteers. Funding will be distributed through local programs working directly to help individuals rebuild.
“At the Charitable Foundation, we want to assist in the long term recovery efforts – not just the immediate disaster relief. That is why, with support from our donors, we are a funding partner in this collaborative effort,” said Kevin Peterson, senior program officer in the Upper Valley Region. “We need more of this kind of collaboration, particularly in tough economic times.”
“We are proud to join with Granite United Way and the NH Charitable Foundation to collaboratively support the work of Upper Valley Strong and their partner organizations,” said Tom Roberts, senior philanthropic advisor for the Upper Valley at the Vermont Community Foundation. “Their commitment to rebuild and strengthen the Upper Valley community is clear to us and our fundholders, many of whom have also made grants toward this effort.”
The early work of Upper Valley Strong with assistance from Granite United Way staff has focused on needs assessments, crisis intervention, emergency assistance and the coordination of services to ensure that help is given to those in need without duplication of resources. “We are delighted that these three funders have joined together in providing major support for Upper Valley Strong’s work. This will help us to meet individuals’ immediate needs as well as assist them in getting their lives back to normal over the long term,” said Anne Duncan Cooley of the Upper Valley Housing Coalition and Chairwoman of the Upper Valley Strong Committee.