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Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund Awards $450,000 in Flood Recovery Grants in Nebraska

Omaha, Neb. February 12, 2020 –The Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund is awarding $450,000 in grants to Long Term Recovery Groups and Organizations across the state of Nebraska, announced Alec Gorynski, Vice President, Community Development and Corporate Philanthropy, First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO). These grants represent more than half of the funds raised by the Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund, which was established in partnership between FNBO and the Nebraska Community Foundation in response to the devastating floods that impacted Nebraska, western Iowa and southeastern South Dakota in the spring and summer of 2019.

The $450,000 in grants will be awarded from within three funding categories:

1. $300,000 in Individual Assistance grants will be awarded to  pay vendors, contractors and organizations to repair and/or rebuild homes that were damaged as a result of the floods in the following communities: 

  • Douglas County  Douglas County Emergency and Natural Disaster Recovery Group and Habitat for Humanity of Omaha
  • Kearney Area (including Kearney, Gibbon, Pleasanton, Ravenna, Shelton, Elm Creek, Amherst and Odessa counties) –Kearney Area Disaster Recovery Group
  • Dawson County (including Lexington, Cozad, Gothenburg, Farnam, Willow Island, Overton, Eddyville and Sumner) – Dawson County Long Term Recovery Group
  • Sargent Area  Central Nebraska Community Action Partnership

2. $125,000 in Flood Mitigation Assistance to assist homeowners within a flood plain to make necessary repairs to their flood-damaged homes. Funding from Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund will help offset the homeowners’ 25 percent contribution that is required in order to mitigate and ultimately repair homes in the Fremont Area. Funding will be awarded to the Greater Dodge County Long Term Recovery Group for this purpose. 

3. $25,000 toward the establishment of the Midwest Housing Resource Network, a statewide disaster resiliency network that was developed in response to the 2019 flooding to assist communities with identifying and addressing disaster-related housing needs and helping developers utilize funding sources effectively. Funding from the Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund will be provided to Midwest Housing Development Fund and pooled with funding from other sources to fully establish this network to benefit residents across Nebraska.

“Best practices for disaster recovery programs indicate that a significant waiting period is necessary to fully understand the community’s needs and in order to appropriately coordinate federal and state resources that may be available,” said Gorynski. “The remaining funding is expected to be awarded to other flood recovery programs within the first half of 2020.”

To date, the Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund has raised more than $837,000 from individuals, families and organizations across the country. One hundred percent of donations will be directed to supporting the long-term recovery of flood-impacted communities in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota that received FEMA Individual Assistance designations.

Eligibility for a grant from the Rebuild the Heartland Fund is limited to nonprofit organizations and local government authorities leading and/or engaged in rebuilding efforts in impacted communities. Grants are primarily focused on housing rehabilitation and related needs, but can also support small businesses impacted by the flood as well as infrastructure needs that are critical to impacted communities.  Organizations interested in applying can visit: www.rebuildtheheartland.org.   

The Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund is still accepting donations. To make a donation, visit 
www.nebcommfound.org/give/rebuild-the-heartland-community-fund today or you may send a check payable to Nebraska Community Foundation, P.O. Box 83107, Lincoln, NE  68501. Memos on donation checks should read “Rebuild the Heartland.”

About FNBO
First National Bank of Omaha is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National of Nebraska and its affiliates have more than $23 billion in assets and nearly 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.

About Nebraska Community Foundation 
Nebraska Community Foundation unleashes abundant local assets, inspires charitable giving and connects ambitious people to build stronger communities and a Greater Nebraska.  In the last five years, 41,776 contributions have been made to NCF and its affiliated funds. Since 1994, NCF has reinvested $323 million in Nebraska’s people and places. For information, visit NebraskaHometown.org.