Mystery donation helps with Kearney disaster relief

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KEARNEY, Neb. - One month after the July 9th flood, there was a $100,000 check in the mailbox at the Kearney Area Community Foundation from an anonymous donor for the Disaster Relief Fund on Friday, August 9th.

“Wow – it is hard to wipe the smile off our faces at the office. Like other local nonprofits, our staff has been working above and beyond since the March flooding . . . so receiving a significant gift for our neighbors in need makes it all worth it,” Sickler exclaimed. “We are so humbled that the anonymous donor chose to invest in our community to help our neighbors in need. What an impact this gift will have on the more than 450 Buffalo County households reporting losses from the July flooding.”

The timing of the gift couldn’t be better.

Along with the United Way of the Kearney Area, the Community Foundation will be sending out a letter and an application form for assistance this week to households that recorded damages with local organizations assisting after the disaster. If people have their primary residence in Buffalo County and suffered losses from the July flooding, the Kearney Area Community Foundation and United Way of the Kearney Area are able to provide some financial assistance.

The Disaster Relief Fund Assistance Request forms and checks will be processed through the Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska.

In order to be eligible to receive disaster relief funds, residents with verified flood loss will be required to fill out a short application and must present the following information: invoices/estimates for costs incurred from flooding, a form of identification and proof of residency in Buffalo County (i.e. utility bill, bank statement or ID with current address). Each household will be eligible for up to $700 to help offset flood-related expenses. All paperwork will need to be submitted on or before September 16.

“Although we cannot completely cover the unplanned costs, we hope to help as much as we can and as many households in the county as financially possible,” said Nikki Erickson, Executive Director of the United Way of the Kearney Area. “We know that those affected will take weeks, months and maybe years to recover.”

“Generous donors like our anonymous benefactor make such an impact on those affected. They know they aren’t forgotten and they are grateful for the hand up,” Sickler said. “There are millions of dollars of loss in our community. We hope this gift will inspire others to step forward so we can continue our momentum for those hurting in our county.”