From press and staff reports
With the April 28 tornado came much destruction, yet Winston County aimed to be strong and with that in mind local leaders took action to setup a long term relief fund.
The fund was immediately setup through the efforts of the Winston County Partnership. The partnership put to use its Winston Community Development, Inc 501C3 designation to create the tax deductible fund “WinstonStrong”.
Mike Dowd was named the Winston County Relief Fund chairman and has been working hard with the three committees: Fund Distribution, Counseling and Volunteers.
Dowd explained to the Louisville Rotary Club that the funds collected are for the long term recovery of the community.
“Funds contributed to WinstonStrong are to be used for long term relief efforts in Louisville and Winston County,” said Dowd.
He noted that the 9 member board will be administering the funds with direction provided by MEMA and FEMA. Proper audit procedures are in place. He further explained that case files will be created on all those that apply using their FEMA numbers. A case manager who will be a volunteer or a displaced worker paid with grant funds will write-up and collect all information on each case and provide only the information and case number to the board with no names to seek fund dispersal.
“The fund is intended to help victims after all other resources such as insurance and FEMA assistance have been exhausted or simply not made available,” said Dowd.
He emphasized that about $7.5 million in needs exist in Winston County and the fund has about $170,000 in donations so the board must be watchful and maximize the use of all funds to help as many as possible.
“The focus will be about being fair, consistent and honest in every case of need examined,” explained Dowd.
He added this will be a long process with all the board members and committee members understanding that this is a 2 to 3 year commitment.
“We have to start out slow and make certain of each step forward,” said Dowd.
He added that with everyone working together and using all resources wisely “we can rebuild and make Winston County stronger.”
Funds are administered through the Winston Community Development, Inc. which is an established 501c3 non-profit. This means that any contributions will be tax deductible.
If you have questions the relief fund, contact Rev. Mike Dowd throough the Winston County Partnership at 662-773-8719.
To donate on the web visit :http://www.winstonstrong.com
To make a donation by check – make checks payable to:
Winston Community Development Disaster Relief Fund
P.O. Box 389
Louisville, Ms. 39339
or stop by your local Renasant Bank.