Responding to Irene

WaterWheel Fund for Flood Recovery

This fund was established at the Community Foundation with proceeds from the Phish benefit concert held on September 14, 2011 in Essex Junction, Vermont. Contributions to the fund provide disaster relief assistance, both short-term and long-term, to support Vermonters affected by Tropical Storm Irene.

The Community Foundation worked closely with the WaterWheel Foundation to develop a comprehensive grantmaking strategy for the fund. To date more than $1.25 million has been raised and over $1.21 million in grants has been distributed. Grants awarded from the fund have ranged from $4,000 to $150,000 and have supported over 50 organizations across the state, from family centers to Community Action Agencies to regional long-term recovery groups. The initial round of support for Irene relief and recovery efforts was announced November 14, 2011. Grant recipients include the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund and the Vermont Farm Fund Emergency Loan Program to support farmers who were affected by the flood; the Vermont Irene Flood Relief Fund to support small businesses affected by the flood; the Special and Urgent Needs - Irene Recovery Fund to support nonprofit and public sector organizations affected by the flood; and the Vermont Foodbank.

The WaterWheel Fund for Flood Recovery awarded grants in support of nonprofit organizations contributing to disaster recovery throughout 2012, and continues to award final grants.