The Valley Support Fund was created as an opportunity for members of the community to donate toward addressing unmet needs after the shootings in Herkimer and Mohawk on March 13 and 14.
A committee of volunteers oversaw distribution of 100 percent of the funds raised through Valley Support Fund to address unmet needs after these events, according to a news release from the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area. The committee consisted of Herkimer County Administrator Jim Wallace, Herkimer County Sheriff Christopher Farber, Frankfort Village Clerk Karlee Tamburro, business owner Francesca Magro, Red Cross Chapter Executive Jennifer Balog, Catholic Charities of Herkimer County Executive Terry Leonard and staff of United Way. Payments to fund recipients were made and facilitated by Catholic Charities of Herkimer County.
No agency, including United Way, took an administrative fee from the fund. All of the money raised was used to meet needs of affected individuals. A total of $7,960 was raised; 16 individuals applied to and received assistance from the Valley Support Fund. Typically, the funds were used to pay medical or mental health copays and living expenses due to hardship caused by lost wages. The Valley Support Fund is now closed.
The Flood Recovery Fund was created in July in response to the flooding in the area. Approximately $188,000 was pledged during a telethon on July 3. To date, $179,000 has been collected. No agency, including United Way, took or will take an administrative fee from the fund. All of the money raised will be used to meet needs of individuals affected.
Fifty percent of the total funds raised assisted with immediate flood response services in Herkimer and Oneida counties through partner agencies, Mohawk Valley Red Cross and Salvation Army. More than 43,000 food items and 36,000 drinks were distributed, nearly 4,400 cleanup kits were dispersed and approximately 1,000 mental health check-ins were provided during that time.
The remaining 50 percent of funds collected is reserved to address the unmet needs many will face during the long-term recovery process. Of this long term recovery amount, estimated at $90,000, 70 percent will be designated for use in Herkimer County, estimated at $63,000, and 30 percent in Oneida County, estimated at $27,000, as per assessed damage levels.
Flood Recovery Fund quick summary:
• 50 percent raised went to immediate disaster needs through Red Cross and Salvation Army.
• 35 percent for long-term unmet needs in Herkimer County via case management system.
• 15 percent for long-term unmet needs in Oneida County via case management system.