Generous Donors Lift Flood Relief Fund; Assistance Efforts Underway

Individuals, Businesses and Foundations Raise More Than $229,000

Donors across the region have stepped up in a big way to support relief efforts for victims of February’s massive flooding in Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Flood Relief Fund, established by United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, has received $229,500 in contributions.

“Once again our community shows the world its generosity and compassion, especially when people are in great need,” said Chris Sargent, United Way’s President and CEO.

United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region (UWBCKR) and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF) started the Kalamazoo Flood Relief Fund together with lead contributions of $10,000 each. The rest came from generous individuals, businesses and other organizations, most recently the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, Sargent said.

Fund dollars are directed to local agencies working with individuals and families who need help in the wake of the historic flood. UWBCKR meets regularly with 20 local agencies to coordinate activities.

“This partnership is a great illustration of collaboration to support the greatest need in our community,” said Carrie Pickett-Erway, President and CEO of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.

According to Sargent, 111 requests for post-flood assistance have come in through 2-1-1 thus far. Many of these requests are for multiple needs, including water removal; replacing damaged furnaces and water heaters; mold remediation; debris removal; utility assistance; replacing appliances, furniture and clothing; and providing hotel vouchers for families who need shelter while their homes are repaired.

The public can add tax-deductible donations to the fund through United Way, with 100 percent of their gifts going to flood recovery.

Individuals and families still in need of help due to flooding should call 2-1-1, Sargent said. The local 2-1-1 service, managed by Gryphon Place, can connect callers with agencies to address their specific needs. Agencies leading flood relief efforts and wanting financial support through the Kalamazoo Flood Relief Fund can contact UWBCKR at (269) 343-2524.

How to Donate

United Way is accepting tax-deductible contributions for the Kalamazoo Flood Relief Fund. Those who want to make a gift can do so in the following ways:

  • Online at www.changethestory.org, select the DONATE button and fill out the form. Be sure to check the box “Please direct my gift to the Kalamazoo Flood Relief Fund.”
  • Mail or drop off a check made out to “United Way BCKR” at UWBCKR’s office, 709 S. Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI, 49007. Be sure to write Kalamazoo Flood Relief Fund on the memo line of the check.
  • Call United Way at (269) 343-2524 to ask about other ways to make a contribution.

About UWBCKR
United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region envisions a vibrant community where all people realize their full potential. UWBCKR drives impact by leading shared efforts that engage diverse people, ideas and resources. We partner across all sectors year-round to achieve measurable progress towards specific goals in education, income and health—the building blocks for a good quality life.

About the Kalamazoo Community Foundation
Kalamazoo Community Foundation, established in 1925, has the mission to make life better for all through leadership and stewardship of resources that last forever, with the vision of a community where every person can reach full potential.

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