#UCCStrong First Distribution 16-Oct-2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brian Prawitz, (541) 643-1085
UCC Strong Distributing First Grants to UCC Victims and Their Families
UCC Strong Fund Will Focus on Helping Victims, Families and Douglas County’s Grieving Community Heal from Tragedy
Roseburg, Oregon (October 16, 2015) —Greater Douglas United Way (GDUW) announced today that the UCC Strong Fund has begun to distribute the first round of support to the victims of the events that occurred at UCC on October 1st.
The fund – anticipated to be dispersed in multiple phases – will be used to support the immediate needs of victims and their families, as identified by the District Attorney’s office, as well as community-wide healing efforts.
Recognizing the immediate needs of the victims and their families, United Way has begun delivering a total of $120,000 as the first distribution – not as the only distribution – to victims and their families. Funds can be used at the families’ discretion to help them with unmet immediate needs.
Executive Director Bryan Trenkle explains, “We have learned through meetings with victims’ and families’ liaisons, other service providers and UCC officials that unmet needs are causing undue stress because of unanticipated circumstances such as extended hospital stays, travel expenses, destroyed school supplies, high phone bills and unmet health needs. Through generous donations from across the country, UCC Strong is able to give immediate assistance to these grieving families dealing with the aftermath of this tragedy.”
Another grant will be released to the Salvation Army on Monday, October 19, to aid UCC students and staff who were on campus at the time of the event.
The initial total - $145,000 – represents approximately one quarter of what has been pledged to the fund to-date.
The UCC Strong Fund is uniquely meeting the immediate needs of UCC in the aftermath of the tragic shootings this month:
- 1. UCC Strong will focus on community-wide healing. The college is deeply enmeshed with Greater Douglas County’s small, tight-knit community that has been deeply affected by the tragedy. United Way, its community partners and the Fund’s volunteer committee are developing a strategy to address the long-term needs for community-wide recovery through programs like mental health support, first-responder and medical personnel support, and programs to address school violence.
In creating this strategy, United Way will work closely with C.H.A.R.T., the Community Healing And Response Team, to identify how its resources can be used most effectively. CHART was formed by a
coalition of local non-profits, churches and government agencies committed to community recovery following this event. CHA Executive Director Janet Holland states, “While our entire community has been affected by the initial tragedy, often significant mental health symptoms do not show up for 6-18 months. As part of the recovery effort, we need resources like those provided by United Way and UCC Strong to be here for our community now and in the future.”
- 2. The Fund has widespread support from members of the community, UCC and around the world.
Since the events of October 1st, hundreds of community members have held fundraisers of various kinds to generate money for assisting victims. Financial institutions, local businesses and individuals have made donations in order to help our community heal. Thousands of t-shirts, signs and stickers have been sold for UCC Strong.
Additionally, the UCC Strong Fund is guided by a volunteer committee of community leaders, the faith community, UCC Administration, the District Attorney’s office, Ford Family Foundation, UCC Foundation and United Way. The committee will include a student from UCC. The committee will meet regularly to develop strategies to address the continuing needs of the victims, their families and our community.
- 3. Donated funds will fill in the gaps for victims, families and the local community from other, more traditional sources over time. The amount to be granted in the first, immediate distribution represents approximately one-fourth of the current commitments to the UCC Strong Fund. GDUW will work with administrators of the other funds to ensure that families will receive the maximum benefits and duplication of efforts is minimized. GDUW will also work with its community partners to implement an effective strategy for ongoing community healing.
Trenkle states, “Our thoughts remain with the victims, their loved ones and everyone affected by this tragedy. After such unimaginable loss, what matters is the healing. United Way is here for the victims, their loved ones and the entire community. We will be here to support the community’s recovery.”
Victims and their families can request the initial funds either directly with GDUWay or through their family liaison.
People who want to donate to this fund can:
* Visit the web site www.uccstrong.com to read more about the Fund and make a secure credit card donation.
* Call 541-672-1734 to make a credit card donation.
* Mail checks or money orders made out to Greater Douglas United Way:
Greater Douglas United Way
702 SE Jackson St
Roseburg, Or 97470