Hurricane Maria Fund Update

An Update for Donors to Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Relief Fund

David J. Obedzinski, President
January 10, 2018

With sincere thanks to each of you for responding and making a gift to the Community Foundation CLICK HERE TO DONATEof Greater New Britain’s Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Relief Fund allow me to provide you now with an update on our fund’s progress, our partnerships with the American Savings Foundation and other agencies involved in the relief work, our work to formalize the grant awarding process, grants made to date, and our plans for future impact.

Our Fund’s Progress

• Since establishing the fund within 48 hours of the devastating hurricane hitting the island of Puerto Rico we’ve collected $41,428 in gifts and grants from individuals and organizations including support from our own foundation and the American Savings Foundation. An additional $7,500 was granted and designated by our Foundation for local efforts raising our total amounted committed to $48,928.

Our Partnerships

• The American Savings Foundation and HRA of New Britain have been partners with us on this project from the beginning and they continue to work closely with us as we communicate with the agencies in Puerto Rico that will apply for assistance during the extended rebuilding process and with local agencies, government agencies and school systems regarding assistance relocated families need during this difficult time.

• We are also grateful to assistance and support we’ve received from New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart and from Connecticut State Representative Robert Sanchez from District 25.

The Grant Awarding Process

• The formal fund agreement was established, reviewed and approved by both the American Savings Foundation and Community Foundation of Greater New Britain board of directors. Instructions for agencies in Puerto Rico to submit letters of intent to apply for funding have been drafted and will be finalized in the next two weeks. Seventy percent of the funds will be applied to efforts in Puerto Rico and thirty percent will be granted locally to assist Puerto Rican families in need.

Grants Made to Date and the Impact

• The American Savings Foundation and the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain have both committed funds to local immediate needs to assist families relocating to our area during the rebuilding of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure. Our foundation has provided $7,500 in support to the New Britain School System to help provide school and other important supplies to students and their families coming to our community on a continual basis from the island.

The following information was provided to us by request.

“As of January 5, 2018 New Britain has registered and taken in 225 students from hurricane related disaster areas including Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Florida. As students register for school, our Family Resource Staff and individual school social workers also identify other areas of need including assistance with clothing, school supplies and direct families to city agencies which help with housing, food assistance and other social services. There is a particular need for winter clothing, school uniforms and school supplies. The influx of hurricane victims has quickly depleted our supply of these items and the grant from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain comes at a critical time for many of our families. The extreme cold that Connecticut has faced since early December is, indeed, a shock to those who have traveled from a warm climate. There is a great sense of urgency to have these youngsters properly clothed, especially with winter gear, to allow them to arrive to school on a daily basis so the educational interruption they have experienced from displacement in their homeland is as minimal as possible. Once again, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain is a key source of help in bringing a sense of stability and security to the students and families who are newly arrived in New Britain. Our city has seen the third highest influx of students in the state, most of whom have sought refuge with family and friends in our larger urban communities”.

Paul G. Salina
Chief Operations Officer
Consolidated School District of New Britain

We are also in discussions with the United Way as their Neighbor In Need program, assisting local displaced families in need, may be a program we could support through this fund.

Our Plans for Future Impact

• We will continue to raise awareness about the needs in Puerto Rico and in our local area and we will continue to encourage giving to our Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Relief Fund. Any assistance you can lend in helping to spread the word or in making an additional gift to the fund at is appreciated.

• We will work closely with local agencies to determine local needs and assist where possible.

• HRA of New Britain is helping to connect us to the agencies in Puerto Rico that will need assistance in rebuilding communities hit the hardest. We will share our process for applying for assistance with them.

• We will update our donors and friends with progress in all of these areas through special mailings and in our monthly e-newsletters.

Thank you again for your generous support of these important efforts.

Dave Obedzinski full name



David J. Obedzinski, President