CFO opens community flood-recovery funds in four hard-hit regions

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks and its affiliate foundations are opening community flood recovery funds for several of the southern Missouri areas most severely affected by this week’s historic flooding.

Charitable donations for flood recovery will be used to support 501(c)3 nonprofits, including equivalent faith and education institutions, that will work directly to help flood victims with mid- to long-term recovery. These funds also may support nonprofits directly affected by the flood damage.

These community flood recovery funds are open to support West Plains; Van Buren and Carter County; Doniphan and Ripley County; and the Thomasville community in Oregon County.

The CFO is a regional public charitable foundation that includes 49 affiliate foundations serving the region south of the Missouri River. Tax-deductible donations can be made at: http://cfozarks.org/floodrecovery. Or checks can be mailed to: Community Foundation of the Ozarks, P.O. Box 8960, Springfield, MO, 65801, with one of the specific communities noted. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the IRS.

Decisions on use of the funds will be made by local grantmaking committees in each community. The CFO is based on the principle that local leaders are best positioned to understand the needs and priorities in their communities. While assessment is still underway, it is anticipated that recovery needs will be extensive based on initial damage reports for these record flood events across the region.

These funds are intended for recovery efforts over the coming months; they are not intended for emergency response needs handled by major national organizations that support immediate relief in disaster situations. The CFO also does not make grants directly to individuals, working instead through its extensive nonprofit network and case-management structures to ensure the most effective use and prevent duplication of charitable gifts.

The CFO has extensive experience in disaster-recovery grantmaking, including the 2011 Joplin tornado; tornados and flooding in the Branson area; Meramec region flooding in 2015; and the 2002 Stockton tornado.

“The strength of being a community foundation is that we are well established with local leaders who are in the best position to understand local priorities,” CFO President Brian Fogle said. “We also know from our past disaster experience that recovery is a long-haul process. As bleak as things might look today, we want to inspire hope and confidence for a successful recovery.”

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