Fall 2019

Greater Dayton Disaster Relief and Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Funds: Giving in Times of Need

Long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts are estimated
to take up to five years and total hundreds of millions
of dollars.

To say that it’s been a challenging few months for Greater Dayton would be an understatement.

When a series of tornadoes struck the area on Memorial Day, the destruction left behind was like none this community had seen before. Nearly 5,700 structures were damaged in Montgomery County alone, with 1,177 of those completely destroyed. Almost immediately, churches, nonprofit organizations and community members were on the ground handing out supplies, delivering food and water, clearing debris and climbing on rooftops to hang tarps.

Students at Primrose School on Yankee gather around Michelle Lovely, vice president of Development and Donor Services, to present a $1,000 check for the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund. One-hundred percent of the fund’s donations will go to the victims and the families of individuals killed in the August 4 shooting.

As images of the tornado damage surfaced the following morning, The Dayton Foundation quickly established the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund to provide concerned individuals with a trusted place to donate. The Dayton Foundation has waived all administrative fees and is covering credit card processing fees for the fund to ensure 100 percent of the donations go to vetted nonprofit organizations that are assisting tornado victims and helping the community rebuild. The Foundation also recently awarded a $400,000 discretionary grant to support long-term recovery efforts.

“From large corporate donations, to numerous community fundraisers and children sending in savings from their piggy banks, the overwhelming generosity from the community and the world to help our neighbors affected by these catastrophic events has been amazing.”
– Michael M. Parks, president, The Dayton Foundation

Tragedy struck again on August 4, when news broke of an early morning mass shooting in the Oregon District. As reports confirmed that nine lives had been taken and dozens of others were injured, many individuals reached out to see how they could help. Within hours, The Dayton Foundation established the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund to accept charitable donations for individuals who were most severely impacted by the tragedy.

More than 3,300 donors raised $1.5 million for the
Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund to help individuals
who were impacted by the Memorial Day tornadoes.

Gifts immediately started pouring in. To date, more than 4,400 individuals have contributed to the fund, with donations and pledges totaling $3.2 million. At the recommendation of volunteer counsel Ken Feinberg and Camille Biros, who previously have consulted on 30 victim compensation funds, a 15-member volunteer Community Oversight Committee was convened to determine the protocol with the public’s input for how best to distribute the charitable gifts. Co-chairing the Committee are Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M., Ph.D., former president of the University of Dayton, and Gary L. LeRoy, M.D., FAAFP, associate dean for student affairs and admission at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. LeRoy also is a former chair of The Dayton Foundation Governing Board.

Said Brother Fitz, “Foremost, we want to express our deepest condolences, compassion and prayers to the families whose loved ones were taken in this terrible tragedy and to the individuals who were physically injured. As the volunteer Community Oversight Committee for this charitable fund, we absolutely want to do what is in the best interest of these individuals while upholding the intent of the thousands of donors who have generously contributed to the fund for the benefit of others.”

Actor and former Dayton resident Rob Lowe
encouraged his Twitter followers and attendees
at his June 2 one-man show to support
tornado relief efforts through the Greater
Dayton Disaster Relief Fund.

“Our community is grieving, and we’re doing our due diligence to be sure that these heartfelt charitable contributions are distributed in an equitable, transparent and timely manner,” Gary LeRoy added. “We’re consulting with national experts and community foundation leadership who have experienced similar mass tragedies to help provide guidance as we work through this process.”

Like the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund, the Foundation is covering all administrative fees and credit card processing costs for the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund. This ensures that 100 percent of donations will be distributed as charitable gifts to assist the victims who were physically injured and the families of the victims whose lives were taken. In addition, the Foundation’s Governing Board recently awarded a $100,000 discretionary grant to the fund. Eligible applicants can apply between October 1 and October 31, 2019. The fund also will accept donations until October 31.

Brooke Evans and her dog helped
raise funds for the Dayton Oregon
District Tragedy Fund.

Contributions to the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund still are rolling in as well, with $1.5 million raised to date to assist with tornado recovery and rebuilding efforts. More than $500,000 in grants initially were distributed from the fund to nonprofits assisting tornado victims with immediate needs, such as housing, landlord/tenant issues, food and other necessities. Remaining funds and future contributions will support long-term recovery and community rebuilding needs, which is estimated to take up to five years and total hundreds of millions of dollars.

“From large corporate donations, to numerous community fundraisers and children sending in savings from their piggy banks, the overwhelming generosity from the community and the world to help our neighbors has been amazing,” said Michael M. Parks, president of The Dayton Foundation. “While we know that these charitable gifts will not heal the pain suffered by those who have lost loved ones nor the hardships of individuals impacted by the tornadoes and the Oregon District tragedy, supporting these funds is a small way that charitably minded people can help.”

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Read about tornado relief work that the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund has supported here. You also can learn more about the Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund here.

Good News is made possible by five Dayton Foundation donors and families who have stepped forward to become the Foundation’s 2018-2019 “I Believe!” Partners. Click here to read their stories.

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File date: 7.25.17
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