United Way & Community Foundation Raise Woodmore Funds
WOODMORE FUND CONTRIBUTIONS REACH $200K
Coordinated Fundraising Effort by Community Foundation, United Way Continues
CHATTANOOGA, TENN. – Contributions to the Woodmore Fund have reached $200,000 to date.
Established to provide a way for community members to offer a gift of support to the immediate families of the 37 children involved in the Woodmore school bus accident on November 21st, the fund is a coordinated effort between Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga (Community Foundation) and United Way of Greater Chattanooga (United Way). More than 1500 individuals and organizations in Chattanooga and around the country have contributed to the fund so far.
“The Woodmore Fund represents a gift of love and support from our community to the immediate families of the children involved in the Woodmore school bus accident,” said Maeghan Jones, Community Foundation president. “Here in Chattanooga, we have seen how a community can help when it comes together, and we have learned that in times of tragedy, acts of love and kindness matter. Over the past week, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of individuals and organizations here at home and around the country who wish to offer their support to the families who are hurting.”
“We can never compensate for the acute pain and loss our families are experiencing, but we can stand with them through their grief, and we can join together to offer them this gift at the time they need it most,” said Lesley Scearce, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Chattanooga. “People often feel powerless to help in times of crisis. Donations to the Woodmore Fund are one way our community is reaching out to help the families in our midst who will be dealing with the pain of this event for a long time to come.”
United Way and dozens of partners are also working together to guide and support each family beyond the financial needs alone. “We will walk with our children, families, teachers, and our whole community to help ensure those affected have the support they need now, and in the long term,” stated Scearce, who said United Way 211 and Neediest Cases have partnered with church and community leaders to provide a variety of services, including counseling, financial advising, legal guidance and case management.
According to both Scearce and Jones, funds will be disbursed directly to the immediate families of the 37 children on bus 366 at the time of the accident as quickly and efficiently as possible. Both organizations have been engaging with local community leaders as well as consulting national disaster and relief fund experts on best practices for disbursing the funds.
“The funds are a gift from the community intended to help provide some immediate relief for families as they negotiate this deeply traumatic time,” Jones said.
“When tragedy strikes, community responds. Chattanooga’s churches and community organizations have truly stepped forward to support those who are suffering, and we will continue to stand strong as our community continues to heal,” agreed Pastor Ternae Jordan, a United Way of Greater Chattanooga board member working with Community Foundation and United Way to help facilitate the Woodmore Fund. Jordan is part of a group of 70 local pastors stepping in to help the Woodmore families.
“Community is one of the most powerful words in our language, one that surpasses race, age, gender, socioeconomics or politics. Community means strength and unity,” said Lakweshia Ewing, a community member and CFGC board member also working with Community Foundation and United Way to help facilitate the fund. “In the face of last week’s tragedy, people across Hamilton County and beyond have come together to show that we are, indeed, a community, and we are all one community, and we are all Woodmore.”
Donations to the Woodmore Fund will be accepted through December 31st, 2016. Because there are no administration fees or expenses associated with the fund, 100% of the contributions made to the Woodmore Fund will go directly to the families of the 37 children on Bus 366 at the time of the crash.
Ways to Give
Donations from individuals, companies and organizations are welcome in any amount.
Checks can be made payable to the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga with “The Woodmore Fund” in the memo. Checks can be dropped off or mailed to:
Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga
Attn: Woodmore Fund
1270 Market Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Checks can also be made payable to United Way of Greater Chattanooga with “The Woodmore Fund” in the memo. Checks can be dropped off or mailed to:
United Way of Greater Chattanooga
Attn: Woodmore Fund
630 Market Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Text Woodmore to 91999 or call 2-1-1 (423-265-8000)
Give online at hcde.org/woodmore.
About Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga
Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga is a community-based foundation dedicated to supporting programs and initiatives focused on addressing areas of critical need throughout the greater Chattanooga area. Through grant-making to local non-profits, fund management and resource support for community programs, and college scholarships for area students, Community Foundation helps individuals, businesses, organizations and private trusts leverage the power of their philanthropic contributions to help make Chattanooga greater. Visit CFGC.org for more information.
About United Way of Greater Chattanooga
United Way of Greater Chattanooga unites people and resources to build a stronger and healthier community. As Chattanooga’s backbone of community change, we bridge the gap between people and resources. We ignite social change through a powerful network of partners, donors and volunteers who share a common passion: making our community a better place for all. We work to build a community where children are born into stable families and supportive environments, start school ready to learn, and graduate prepared for college, work and life. Visit UnitedWayCHA.org for more information.