You may have heard that we reactivated our Disaster Relief Fund this week in response to the tornadoes in eastern North Carolina on April 25th.  But you may not know exactly what this might mean.

We established the NCCF Disaster Relief Fund in 1999 in response to the devastating effects of Hurricane Floyd. This fund was established to provide grants to organization serving those in need in areas NCCF serves that were impacted by disasters. It has been used over the past 15 years to address issues from flooding, hurricanes and tornadoes. 

When disaster strikes, our statewide grants committee quickly is convened to activate the fund and to plan next steps. As soon as we could research the damage and identify the counties most heavily impacted, we convened the committee on Tuesday and began accepting contributions into the fund that very afternoon.  We immediately went to work to publicize and gather donations. Our board of directors has ensured all funds contributed will be directed to communities and organizations in need,  and that no portion of gifts to the Disaster Relief Fund will be used for administration, fees or overhead.

The funds are allocated to impacted areas and recommendations are made by our local affiliate leaders.  With local foundations serving 67 counties, we have a pretty wide footprint. This fund illustrates the beauty, strength and reach of our network.  The NCCF is truly invested in our communities with local leaders who can make recommendations about how the funds can be best utilized. Our role is not to compete with first responders on immediate needs, unless no funding is available for that. Our usual intent is to take a longer-term view and to fund unmet needs, after those who are “boots on the ground” are gone.

It is an effective formula of local people working together to address critical needs in their own local communities. Local is the key word and an important component of our value as a resource.

We realize that chances are this probably will not be the only time this year that we will be called to activate the fund.  What we do know for sure is that we have a well-tested process in place to ensure we are responsive and nimble.

You may consider a gift to the Disaster Relief Fund; it is money well spent. The next need may be in your community.

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