Public-private partnership helps Benton County households affected by storms

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 363 views 

Area government, business and philanthropic organizations are partnering to provide short-term financial assistance to Benton County households impacted by the May 26 tornadoes and severe weather.

According to a Wednesday (June 5) news release, the group has launched the Benton County Relief Fund to help those affected by the storms. So far, the fund has received contributions from Rogers-based Excellerate Foundation, Walton Family Foundation and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

The fund will also support area nonprofit service providers in their disaster responses for Benton County and its communities. Additional details on the support will be released in the coming days.

“The only thing more staggering than the damage wreaked by these storms is the outpouring of generosity we’ve seen,” Benton County Judge Barry Moehring said. “A tremendous amount of calls has come in from folks wanting to help with the ongoing relief efforts. The question has been, ‘Where can we tell them to go?’”

In response, the group established the Benton County Relief Fund. The fund will be administered by Excellerate Foundation, which previously partnered with Benton County to distribute emergency rental assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Benton County Relief Fund is a centralized, local resource that can assist both individuals and nonprofit service providers at the same time,” said Jeff Webster, president and CEO of Excellerate Foundation. “It complements other relief funding from agencies like the Red Cross and FEMA by covering needs that they might not consider eligible and by having a fast turnaround time to address the most critical needs quickly.”

Benton County households that were directly affected by the May 26 storms and have an annual income of $125,000 or less are eligible for the fund. Residents will also receive custom resource plans that connect them to as many resources as possible to ensure their needs are met. Link here for a form to start the process.

Donations are also being accepted. Link here to contribute to the Benton County Relief Fund.