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Red Cross receives initial $32,500 from United Way Telethon

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

UTICA, N.Y. - On August 1, the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area announced funding allocations from the Flood Relief Telethon held on July 3.

The American Red Cross will receive an initial $32,500 in funding from the Flood Relief Fund to assist with immediate flood response services for residents in Herkimer and Oneida Counties.

We are very grateful to the individuals, families and area businesses who contributed to the Flood Relief Fund through the United Way Telethon hosted by WKTV NEWS Channel 2 and Roser Communications, states Jennifer Balog, Community Executive of the American Red Cross of the Mohawk Valley. United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area and its local media partners recognized a need and responded. They played a vital role assuming the financial lead and collecting funds through the telethon to support short-term and long-term recovery efforts, while local agencies, county emergency services and first responders were busy responding to the needs of residents.

Following severe flooding on June 28, the Red Cross quickly opened shelters and mobilized eight bulk distribution sites to dispense relief items such as water, sport drinks, hygiene kits, rakes, shovels and work gloves. By July 14, the Red Cross had distributed nearly 24,000 relief supplies to those residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the floods.

During the initial days of the disaster, the Red Cross opened three shelters providing more than 300 overnight stays and from June 28 through July 14, served nearly 34,000 meals and snacks and provided physical and mental health services to more than 1800 people.

United Way Telethon collected approximately $188,000 in pledges. As of August 1st, nearly $130,000 has been collected. The Herkimer Oneida Organizations Active in Disaster (HOOAD), the expert community members convened to assist United Way in the allocations process, the decision was to split the proceeds. Fifty percent of the total funds collected were designated to assist with immediate flood response services in Herkimer and Oneida Counties through partner agencies.

The remaining 50% of funds, as they collect it, will be managed to meet long-term unmet needs. United Way will continue to collect pledges and the American Red Cross of the Mohawk Valley will receive further payment according to the breakout percentages.

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