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Foundation gives grants to flood-hit nonprofits

The largest amount, $175,000, will to the Wyoming Valley chapter of the Red Cross.

The Luzerne Foundation has presented grants totaling $310,000 to area nonprofit organizations to help with flood recovery efforts.

Because of the generosity of caring friends and donors, said foundation President and CEO Charles Barber, the foundation awarded the following grants:

• $175,000 to the American Red Cross of Wyoming Valley.

• $25,000 to the American Red Cross of Greater Hazleton.

• $20,000 to the Salvation Army of Wyoming Valley.

• $10,000 to Catholic Social Services.

• $10,000 to Volunteers of America.

• $70,000 to the Luzerne County Flood Recovery Fund for Business.

“The Luzerne Foundation is uniquely positioned, as a community foundation, to connect our donors and friends with critical community needs,” Barber said in a prepared statement. “Their charity helped fund these grants from the foundation and many others have made direct donations after contacting us for information.”

Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Donna Sedor said there is a “critical need” for funding to help companies rebuild and retain jobs in the region, and the foundation “was right there working with us to find a way to create a fund designed to help small businesses re-open their doors, re-employ workers and re-establish themselves.”

The grant to the Recovery Fund for Business designates $20,000 for immediate needs and the remainder for a challenge grant program that will match donations on a one-to-one basis up to $50,000.

Bill Jones, chief operating officer of Volunteers of America, said Barber was the first person to visit the organization’s flooded downtown Wilkes-Barre building and offer help.

Barber said the foundation has no specific disaster recovery fund, and recovery grants could have come from new donations or donor requests for distribution of existing funds. He thanked donors and friends of the foundation who made the grants possible, but noted unmet needs still exist and encouraged more donations.

For more information, call 714-1570 or visit www.luzfdn.org.

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