How area is helping, how you can help
A group from Perkins County traveled east last weekend to assist in flood efforts.
Hosmer Doolittle of Madrid said district coordinators of their church volunteer relief aid program, Christian Disaster Relief (CDR), went to see the extent of the damage and then sent out a call to the closest Mennonite churches for volunteer help from members.
Doolittle said they left early Saturday morning and worked on sandbagging in Alda, Dannebrog and Wood River. They carried furniture and possessions out of flooded basements, removed wet carpet and drywall and pumped water out of flooded basements.
Doolittle said there are many other towns that need assistance. They were unable to get into some towns to help as they were still flooded.
“Anyone who feels to volunteer time or effort to those communities would be appreciated very much by those individuals! It is a rewarding work,” he said.
Bob Detweiler of Grand Island contacted The Grant Tribune to express his thanks to three men from Grant who helped sandbag at Alda’s Fire Station.
“Just to let the folks in Grant know, you have outstanding young men who have been brought up by wonderful parents to help one another. Thank you!
“I really appreciated these guys coming up here, plus the work from the heart they put into this as if this was their own community. Makes me proud of their commitment. May God bless them richly!” Detweiler said.
How to help
Those wishing to donate their time and labor directly to a community affected by flooding can call the Nebraska Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD)volunteer coordination line at 402-898-6050.
Locally, Regier Equipment in Madrid is filling a trailer donated by Jerry Harms with items donated by community members to assist in flood relief. Items are also being accepted at Grant E-Free Church
Those with questions can call Rachelle, Ashli or Kelsey at Regier Equipment at 308-326-4245.
Midwest Electric is also accepting flood relief items for a truck leaving Imperial Saturday. Items must be dropped off at Midwest by noon on Friday.
The trailer, parked at Imperial Super Foods, was donated by Harchelroad Motors.
All donations received are being coordinated through Nebraska 211. Call 211 in Nebraska or 866-813-1731 outside Nebraska.
According to the National VOAD, cash offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources. Many charities specialize in providing relief in disaster areas, yet they face significant financial barriers in getting their staff, equipment and supplies into impacted areas.
They stated organizations typically prefer cash donations because they allow organizations to:
• Purchase food, water, medicine and equipment from secure and familiar supply chains.
• Buy materials locally, helping to rebuild the local economy.
• Conserve resources. Money is always necessary and cheap to send, but the cost to ship material supplies can be expensive.
Lastly, material supplies such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items and mixed or perishable food require helping agencies to redirect volunteer labor away from providing direct one-on-one assistance to sort, package, transport, store and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster victims.
When deciding where to donate, people are encouraged to be cautious of fraudulent donation sites that are appearing on social media.
• Several community foundations affected by flooding have set up specific funds for donations. These include Grand Island, Kearney, Merrick and Custer County.
• The United Way of the Midlands, Omaha has created the Nebraska and Iowa Flood Relief Fund. Contributions to this fund can be made by visiting www.unitedwaymidlands.org/floodrelief or texting FLOODRELIEF to 41444.
One-hundred percent of every donation will be directed to nonprofit programs meeting people’s needs for emergency shelter, food and more in Nebraska.
• Monetary donations can be made to the Nebraska/SW Iowa Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund at redcross.org/local/nebraska.
• The Nebraska Farm Bureau has launched relief efforts to aid Nebraska farmers, ranchers and rural communities. The relief efforts include the establishment of a disaster relief fund and launch of an online agriculture disaster exchange portal to connect those in need with those who can help.
Priority will be given to efforts to restore health and safety in rural communities and to farm and ranch households that have been damaged or displaced by the recent storms and flooding.
To aid farmers and ranchers in recovery, the Nebraska Farm Bureau has also opened the Agriculture Disaster Exchange portal. The online portal housed on the Nebraska Farm Bureau website allows members to share information, providing a place for those in need to make requests for assistance and for those looking to help, to offer it.
To donate or apply for aid from the disaster relief fund, utilize the Agriculture Disaster Exchange portal, or access other disaster assistance resources, visit www.nefb.org/disaster.
• Nebraska Cattlemen is working to assist cattle producers by launching a new disaster relief fund.
“Recent snow and flooding have wreaked havoc on Nebraska’s livestock industry, causing damage and losses for countless producers across the state. We know the needs are great, and we hope this new fund will help Nebraska’s cattle producers who are suffering,” said Mike Drinnin, Nebraska Cattlemen president.
One-hundred percent of all donations received will be distributed to Nebraska cattle producers affected by natural disasters, including recent wet weather events.
Donations can be sent to Nebraska Cattlemen Disaster Relief Fund, 4611 Cattle Drive, Lincoln, NE 68521.
• The Nebraska Preparedness Partnership is currently accepting donations. These donations will stay in Nebraska and will be used for catastrophic flooding/blizzards. Call Sandra Hobson at 402-979-7207 or email her at email@example.com for more information.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA)is concentrating efforts on assisting ranch families and their livestock.
Those who have hay, feed stuffs, fencing materials, equipment, etc. that they are willing to donate are asked to contact NDA at 1-800-831-0550.
Callers should be prepared to share their name, contact information, location, and what they have that they are willing to donate along with the amount.
NDA staff will be gathering this information and identifying needs to react accordingly, including the use of the National Guard and other state resources.
More to come
This is not an exhaustive list, and the Tribune will keep readers updated as recovery efforts become more extensive.
Those who are participating in recovery efforts or collecting donations may contact the Tribune at 308-352-4311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.