News & Photos
United Way Poised to Move Community from Rescue to RestorationMay 06, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Phil Martin 615-268-8000 (m)
NASHVILLE, TN, May 6, 2010—In the wake of the Nashville area’s worst natural disaster in decades, United Way of Metropolitan Nashville is poised to help the community move from “rescue and recovery” to “restoration and rebuilding.”
“First response to any natural disaster is handled by the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, TEMA, FEMA, Red Cross and others. United Way plays a substantial role in rescue and recovery by funding first responders such as Red Cross, Salvation Army and Second Harvest in a substantial way. Equally important is United Way’s role of long-term restoration and rebuilding.” said United Way president and CEO Eric Dewey. “We face a major long-term rebuilding of lives in our community and United Way already has the capacity to lead that restoration effort.”
“United Way’s 2-1-1 Help Line takes calls 24-7-365 and has been ramped up to serve as an entry point for matching individuals in need with organizations, which provide the types of services families will need to put their lives back together over the long haul,” Dewey said.
Additionally, United Way said it would activate its Restore The Dream Fund established more than a dozen years ago to support service agencies during and after disasters, including structure and infrastructure restoration.
The Restore The Dream Fund, which was established in 1996 and has been accessed in previous community disasters, has more than a quarter of a million dollars available for grants to agencies, but United Way said it would likely take much more than that to meet the catastrophic needs that continue to unfold.
Calls to United Way’s 2-1-1 Help Line surged to more than four times their normal volumes on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. But officials say they expect calls to the hotline, which provides referrals to nearly 7,000 Tennessee programs, will continue to grow as disaster response enters the “restoration phase.”
“United Way’s 2-1-1 provides access to many basic needs programs and its strength is its ability to help families and individuals put their lives back together,” said Eric Dewey. “One additional benefit of 2-1-1 is a real-time view and assessment of needs that will help to inform the deployment of resources on a long-term basis.
Individuals and families who need help should call 2-1-1 from anywhere in Tennessee. Organizations with resources to deploy should also call 2-1-1, which will connect with agencies and programs meeting immediate needs. Individuals who wish to make financial contributions can log on to www.unitedwaynashville.org and click on GIVE. All gifts made during the coming days will be directed to flood restoration in Middle Tennessee.
About United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. Founded in 1922, United Way of Metropolitan Nashville was originally called the Community Chest. Today, the organization — through partnerships with government, education, health and human services, donors, and business leaders — does much more than raise and distribute funds to agencies. United way gifts are at work in the community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year helping to build the community’s capacity to respond to human needs, particularly in the areas of financial stability, health, education and neighborhoods. In the aftermath of natural disasters, United Way assumes a leadership role in helping to rebuild and restore lives. United Way of Metropolitan Nashville’s 2-1-1 Help Line serves 53 counties across the state.