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Downed trees, like these on Merrill Road near Fort Caroline Road, were a major problem during Hurricane Matthew.
Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Oct. 11, 201612:00 PM EST

Nonprofits team up for Hurricane Matthew relief fund

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by: David Chapman

The effort to rebuild parts of Northeast Florida and assist those most impacted by Hurricane Matthew is receiving a charitable boost by some well-known organizations.

A host of nonprofits Monday announced the creation of Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund that will assist entities helping those hit hardest by the storm.

The group comprises the United Way of Northeast Florida, United Way of St. Johns County, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and Jewish Federation of Jacksonville are partnering on the fund.

It’s an effort that’s off to positive start.

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund pledged up to $500,000 in seed money for the effort, with $250,000 up front and another $250,000 in matching gifts.

“We hope our gift — and the funders’ example of collaboration — will inspire others in our community to join together and assist those in need,” said Sherry Magill, duPont Fund president, in a news release.

The fund will help immediate needs in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties by providing grants to organizations helping residents in those areas. The money will be overseen by a committee comprising the nonprofits as well as the city and the duPont Fund.

Officials said 100 percent of the donations will go toward the relief effort with any unspent money being used to seed a permanent disaster relief fund for Northeast Florida.

Mayor Lenny Curry in a news release called it an “incredible demonstration” of support to help citizens rebuild and support immediate and long-term needs.

The first two grants of $25,000 each will be awarded to the Northeast Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Jacksonville Area Command of the Salvation Army.

There are three ways to contribute:

• Online at unitedwaynefl.org/flfirstcoastrelief/

• By texting STORM to 50503

• Send a check payable to the United Way of Northeast Florida to P.O. Box 41428, Jacksonville, 32203-1428; include “Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund” on the check.

[email protected]

(904)356-2466

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