Release Date: April 7, 2020
$830,000 awarded to flood-impacted communities in Nebraska and Iowa.
OMAHA, Neb. April 7, 2020—The Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund has announced its final disbursement of flood recovery grants awarded to long-term recovery groups and organizations in Nebraska and western Iowa, announced Alec Gorynski, Vice President, Community Development and Corporate Philanthropy, First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO). The Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund was established in partnership between FNBO and the Nebraska Community Foundation in response to the devastating floods that impacted Nebraska and western Iowa in the spring and summer of 2019. In total, the fund raised enough to award $830,000 in grants to flood-impacted communities.
FNBO contributed $100,000 to establish the Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund and matched an additional $150,000 in donations from individuals, families and corporations across the United States. One hundred percent of the donations have been directed to supporting the long-term recovery of flood-impacted communities that received FEMA Individual Assistance designations.
“When a disaster of this magnitudes strikes, it takes everyone working together to help recover and rebuild from the damages,” said Gorynski. “Because of the generosity of those who donated to the Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund, hundreds of families are returning to the comfort of their own homes and moving forward in their everyday lives. For that, we cannot thank them enough. Their kindness and compassion will surely be remembered for generations to come.”
Best practices for disaster relief programs require a significant period of waiting and patience in order to fully understand a community’s needs and to appropriately coordinate federal and state resources that may be available, Gorynski said. For this reason, the fund began distributing grants in December 2019. As of March 31, 2020, all of the grants have been awarded from within the following three funding categories, including the final grants awarded to Mills County (Iowa) Disaster Coalition and the City of Hamburg, Iowa.
$630,000 in Housing Rebuilding Assistance and New Housing Construction grants were awarded to organizations that provide housing-related individual assistance support to repair and/or rebuild homes that were damaged as a result of the floods in the following communities:
$175,000 in Flood Mitigation Assistance, which is a requirement for homeowners within a flood plain to make necessary repairs to their flood-damaged homes. Money from the fund will help offset the homeowner’s 25 percent contribution that is required in order to repair homes and/or mitigate against future flooding. Funding was awarded to the following organizations in Nebraska:
$25,000 toward the establishment of the Midwest Housing Resource Network, a statewide disaster resiliency network that was developed in response to the 2019 flooding to assist communities with identifying and addressing disaster-related housing needs and helping developers utilize funding sources effectively. Funding was provided to Midwest Housing Development Fund, and pooled with funding from other sources to fully establish this network to benefit residents across Nebraska.
About Nebraska Community Foundation
Nebraska Community Foundation unleashes abundant local assets, inspires charitable giving and connects ambitious people to build stronger communities and a Greater Nebraska. In the last five years, 41,776 contributions have been made to NCF and its affiliated funds. Since 1994, NCF has reinvested $323 million in Nebraska’s people and places. For information, visit NebraskaHometown.org.
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