By Reagan Scott
(SNR) - To help victims of the March 2019 floods, Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska (CSS) is distributing grant dollars to individuals and families who still have unmet needs due to losses sustained as a result of the natural disaster.
“We are trying to help as many dire-need families as possible, especially in the Diocese of Lincoln and the state of Nebraska,” said Father Justin Futon, executive director of Catholic Social Services.
The application for the grant can be found at www.cssisus.org/floodrelief, and completed applications will be vetted by a panel of volunteer professionals on the Flood Relief Committee who will award grants based on need and severity.
Father Fulton asked that readers share this information with relatives and friends who still have expenses or needs from the March floods — needs that range from the replacement of household items such as appliances and furniture, to the reimbursement of expenses incurred as a result of roads being out.
“We need help figuring out what people need the money for,” Father Fulton said. “There is still ample opportunity for individuals and families with unmet needs to apply for these grants.”
Since the March floods, Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska has given more than $300,000 to communities both in and out of the diocese to assist in flood relief efforts.
When Peru’s water treatment supply was overrun by flood waters, CSS donated bottled water, gave $25,000 to the community of Peru for the maintenance and upkeep of their water supply, and provided $14,000 to individual families who lost everything in the flood.
“Water is needed to sustain life. And Jesus Himself tells us to give drink to the thirsty,” Father Fulton said. “Our donors and CSS take this seriously, and we were joy-filled to help the citizens and students of Peru with this gift.”
CSS Auburn Manager Tricia Reid presented the check to Peru Mayor Darrin Reeves and said at the time, “Floods wreak havoc but also bring out the care, compassion and goodness of humanity.”
CSS gave $60,000 to the community of North Bend Aug. 14, and will present $100,000 to the community and families of Fremont.
Nearly every house in the village of Winslow was made uninhabitable in the March floods and CSS has given $40,000 to the community and families who face the decision to stay and rebuild where they are, or to rebuild the village somewhere else.
Father Fulton said, “We are helping the greater community by giving funds that will help ease the local tax burden and Federal, State and municipality emergency aid, which ultimately comes from all taxpayers.”
Father Fulton said he was blown away by the donations that came from second collections in parishes across the diocese and donors across the United States after the floods. He said that CSS received donations from the East Coast, Alaska, Chicago, Texas and a school in California, to name a few.
“We thank all of our generous parishioners, donors, and benefactors who have shown their compassion for those Nebraskans dealing with the floods. And we admire the perseverance and resilience shown in the communities throughout Nebraska,” Father Fulton said. “We see the Gospel at work here. In the midst of confusion, chaos and displacement hope, light and love shine forth.”
Now, Father Fulton just wants to ensure that those who still need help have the opportunity to receive it.
He said, “Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska is honored to help assist those who have suffered from the March 2019 floods. We are keeping everyone in our prayers and sincerely hope these grants can help provide some peace and stability.”