May 25, 2019
Four Lawrence Area Nonprofits Get $50K for Disaster Relief

September 15, 2018 — The TD Charitable Foundation and Boston-based United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley yesterday announced they established the Greater Lawrence Relief Fund, and the Essex County Community Foundation announced it is collecting funds, to help families meet basic needs and recover from displacement caused by gas explosions on Thursday.

The Essex County Community Foundation ECCF), based in Danvers, today reported it established the Lawrence Emergency Fund and so far received more than $100,000 in individual donations.

ECCF is working with the > Greater Lawrence Community Action Council to provide funds directly to victims and said that as "needs are uncovered, additional resources will be dispersed from the fund."

The Greater Lawrence Relief Fund will make an initial distribution of $50,000 to the following organizations: In addition, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley said it is providing immediate assistance to Merrimack Valley families affected by the gas explosions in the region through its 211 service

TD Bank said it is also contributing resources to help individuals and businesses recover from this and other disasters.

United Way and TD Charitable Foundation each provided $25,000 each to launch the Merrimack Valley Relief Fund to help the communities of Andover, Lawrence and North Andover with their recovery and rebuilding efforts in the weeks and months ahead.

The two organizations said all of the funds raised will be distributed to the affected communities.

As of 5 a.m. yesterday, the 211 line had received over 500 calls for assistance related to the Merrimack Valley fires.

One person was killed and nearly two dozen injured when a gas leak Thursday afternoon caused at least 70 explosions, damaging homes and structures in Lawrence, North Andover, and Andover.

Michael K. Durkin, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, said, "We are deeply concerned for the families who have been impacted by the fires caused by the explosions in our communities. We are committed to helping the families and communities recover and rebuild from this disaster."

"We are privileged to do our part in supporting the recovery and rebuilding of the affected communities through the Lawrence Emergency Fund," said Beth Francis, ECCF's president and CEO. "ECCF is committed to partnering with philanthropists, nonprofits and municipal leaders to ensure our communities recover from this tragedy and that the lives of those affected are rebuilt."

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