Visions donates $35,000 for continued flood relief
It has been over 16-months since the Tioga County region and Southern Tier area was hit hard by Tropical Storm Lee, and the remnants are still lingering.
According to Tioga United Way's Executive Director Brian Eldridge, there are approximately 100 families in Tioga County who have still not been able to return to their home. And this continued need, with funds quickly dwindling as time elapses since the events of September 2011, is not being ignored by Visions Federal Credit Union.
On Thursday, Visions Federal Credit Union representatives gathered at their Credit Union Center in Endicott, N.Y. to present a check for $35,000 to four agencies that assisted individuals following the flooding, and are continuing to assist.
The United Way of Broome County, Tioga County United Way, Tioga Opportunities and the Tioga County Senior Citizens Foundation were the recipients of these funds, and will be using them in their continued efforts to help families rebuild in our communities.
"Tioga United Way was able to help over one thousand individuals with dehumidifiers and heaters," said Tioga United Way Executive Director Brian Eldridge on Thursday. Eldridge noted that his agency partnered with Tioga Opportunities for assistance with case management.
"We had over $200,000 collected, and we are down to $15,000 left," Eldridge added. "Now we have $25,000 and can finish buying sheetrock."
Eldridge and Dave Woodburn, deputy director of Tioga Opportunities, also stated that 70 people were able to get back in their homes with their combined assistance following the flood.
Frank Berrish, president and CEO of Visions Federal Credit Union, served from 2006 to 2008 on the Federal Reserve Board when Hurricane Katrina hit, and understands that receiving aid can be a slow process.
"When Katrina hit, it wiped out the National Flood Insurance funds," said Berrish. He noted that this is especially difficult on municipalities as they struggle to make decisions on buy-outs and rebuilds.
"The process if very slow," Berrish added.
When Berrish learned of the work that the agencies were doing to help families return to their homes, he wanted to help.
"We all believe we need to give back to the communities we serve," said Berrish of Visions Federal Credit Union and other area financial institutions. "We know that many of the area communities we serve are still in the process of getting back on their feet, and back in their homes."