FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield’s relief fund for residents affected by Hurricane Sandy has collected more than $200,000 after a large donation from the Robin Hood Foundation earlier this week.
Fairfield’s government and Operation Hope set up the Storm Sandy Relief Fund last fall to provide financial assistance for residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the hurricane. The funds help families pay for costs not covered by FEMA loans or insurance, such as new appliances, furniture, clothing, basement cleaning and mold remediation.
“Many people are still struggling to rebuild in the wake of this devastating storm. Some are wrestling with the really difficult decision of whether they even can or should rebuild,” said Mark Barnhart, Fairfield’s director of community and economic development. “We know it’s hard, and we’re here to provide whatever assistance we can.”
As of last week, the fund had collected $95,263 from a range of donors. For example, last week students at Burr Elementary School made a donation of $2,878.55, which students raised by doing chores around their own homes and pitching in from their allowances.
Earlier this week, the fund received a $140,000 donation from the Robin Hood Relief Fund, which collected money during the “12-12-12” concert for Sandy Relief last December.
“We applied for these additional funds to the Robin Hood Relief Fund to help the Town reach more people affected by the storm,” said Carla Miklos, Operation Hope’s executive director. “We hope that those who read this will let their friends and neighbors know that the fund exists to help them with their unmet needs.”
The town will put $100,000 of that donation toward its relief fund. Another $25,000 will be used to hire a part-time case worker to help residents with ongoing relief. The remaining $15,000 will go to Operation Hope, which has seen more people coming in for daily meals and using the food pantry since the storm.
The town’s Storm Sandy Relief Fund Committee is still accepting applications for aid. Those interested in applying can contact Operation Hope at 203-292-5588.
“We’ve talked to some folks who are reluctant to ask for help because they perceive others to be worse off, but I would encourage people to apply,” Barnhart said. “Let us make that judgment if you are struggling. That’s what these funds are here for, and people shouldn’t feel ashamed to accept the help offered by their friends and neighbors."