United Way of Southwest Michigan, Berrien Community Foundation set up disaster relief fund for local families

BERRIEN COUNTY ­— To help address the problems of the widespread flooding throughout Berrien and Cass counties, United Way of Southwest Michigan and the Berrien Community Foundation have partnered to establish a disaster relief fund to help with the recovery needs of families impacted.

One hundred percent of all funds will go directly to disaster relief assistance through the American Red Cross of Southwest Michigan.

“All dollars raised by this relief fund will be used to help with both immediate, basic needs and long-term recovery of families affected by the flooding,” said Anna Murphy, president of United Way of southwest Michigan.

“We are extremely appreciative of the effort being made by United Way and the Berrien Community Foundation,” said Breeze Ettl, executive director of the American Red Cross of southwest Michigan. “The Disaster Relief Fund will go a long way in providing the support so many families will need in southwest Michigan.”

United Way and BCF are working closely with the Red Cross for any emergent volunteer needs. The Red Cross volunteers on the ground and in shelters have many hours of specialized training to prepare them for disaster response. Untrained volunteer opportunities might be limited until new needs are identified. Those interested in volunteering can contact Julee Laurent, volunteer engagement Manager at United Way, at julee.laurent@uwsm.org or (269) 932-3566.

United Way of Southwest Michigan fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. They seek to do this by living united. Their goal is forging unlikely partnerships, finding new solutions to old problems and by mobilizing resources. For more information visit uwsm.org.

To give to the Disaster Relief Fund, visit uwsm.org/relief or text UWSMRELIEF to 51555.

Those who would like to make a donation can do so via cash or check, which can be made payable to BCF/Disaster Relief Fund. Donations can be sent to the following address:

Disaster Relief Fund

c/o Berrien Community Foundation

2900 South State Street, Suite 2E

St Joseph, MI 49085

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