Flood Relief Benefit: Giving Plans and First Grants Announced

Together with the WaterWheel Foundation, we’ve announced the initial grants from the September 14 benefit concert at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex, VT via the WaterWheel Fund for Vermont Flood Recovery, housed at the Vermont Community Foundation. The WaterWheel Foundation has worked closely with philanthropic advisors at the Vermont Community Foundation to jointly develop a comprehensive giving strategy for the concert proceeds. The first round of grants from the fund will be distributed this week.

The fund’s initial round of support for Irene relief and recovery efforts will be comprised of several large grants ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 in the categories of farms, businesses, nonprofit organizations, food, and housing. Included in the likely list of grants are the following funds and organizations which are working hard to distribute contributions to Irene victims: the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund and the Vermont Farm Fund Emergency Loan Program to support farmers who were affected by the flood; the Vermont Irene Flood Relief Fund to support small businesses affected by the flood; the Special and Urgent Needs – Irene Recovery Fund to support nonprofit and public sector organizations affected by the flood; and the Vermont Food Bank.

The fund had previously granted $50,000 to the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) for their Mobile Home Project Fund, to provide immediate support for mobile home park relief efforts.

Also Included in this initial round of grants, WaterWheel has made small grants to approximately 30 local relief efforts at the town level across the state to help address the needs of families and individuals as well as town services and infrastructure in the areas hardest hit by the storm.

Additional grants to support long-term relief efforts will be announced as a clearer picture of the next phase of recovery needs around the state develops.