A total of $329,653 has been donated to the West Reading Disaster Recovery Fund since it was established on Saturday. Donations have been made by more than 800 individuals, families, and businesses from across the region. The largest donation to date was received this morning when UGI Utilities committed $100,000.
“The outpouring of support from the Berks County community and beyond has been incredible,” said Kevin K. Murphy, president of Berks County Community Foundation, which created the fund in partnership with the United Way of Berks County at the request of West Reading Borough Council.
“Over the next few days we will begin to distribute grants from the fund to families who lost a loved one and those who were displaced from their homes in an effort to ease their burden as they cope with their loss,” Murphy said.
Based on the level of donations received, the fund will provide grants to organizations assisting community members in the following order of priority:
1. Grants to organizations providing support to the families of individuals killed in the explosion for immediate financial losses.
2. Grants to organizations providing support to individuals displaced from their homes as a result of the explosion.
3. Grants to organizations providing support to individuals displaced from employment as a result of the explosion.
4. Support to the Borough of West Reading for planning and/or implementation of historical commemoration of the explosion (including, but not limited to the creation of a memorial to those lost).
“Time and again our Berks County businesses and families step up and help out during difficult times,” said Tammy White, president of the United Way of Berks County. “The tragedy in West Reading has been no exception. We are grateful to everyone who has given to the fund.”
Donations can be made online at www.bccf.org, or by mailing a check to Berks County Community Foundation, 237 Court Street, Reading, PA 19601 and noting the West Reading Disaster Recovery Fund in the memo line.