Local Grants Made to Assist Displaced Families from Puerto Rico

New Britain, Conn., August 1, 2018 – The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain (CFGNB) has awarded two grants totaling $10,000 from its Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Relief Fund to organizations in New Britain whose programs are directly aligned with the mission of the fund.

The Salvation Army’s Emergency Services Program has been granted $5,000 to offer direct assistance to meet Hurricane Maria evacuees’ basic needs such as housing, food, utilities, transportation, clothing, furniture, and licensure. In New Britain, the Salvation Army is currently serving 105 families, including 247 individuals who evacuated from Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria.

An additional grant of $5,000 has been awarded to Community Mental Health Affiliates for the “Nuestra Comunidad es Familia” – “Our Community is Family” Program that will provide family support groups for up to 50 parents and children who have migrated to Greater New Britain as a result of the storm. A bilingual clinician will lead the group focusing on recognizing trauma, coping skills for regulating emotions, mindfulness techniques, and strategies or managing anger and stress.

“One mom was coming to therapy faithfully, coping with the trauma of the event, and she had to stop when her kids needs came up and took priority for her,” said CMHA Program Officer Grace Cavallo. “We were able to help with those needs and get her back. It’s changed their direction and now they are much better able to care for themselves.”


Within 48 hours of the devastating storm last September, CFGNB and the American Savings Foundation, with leadership by State Representative Bobby Sanchez of New Britain, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, and HRA of New Britain together established the Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Relief Fund at the Community Foundation. Additional grants from this fund will go directly to Community Action Agencies and other appropriate organizations located in Puerto Rico, who are currently in the process of applying to CFGNB for rebuilding grants.

“Puerto Rico continues to struggle with the lingering aftereffects of this cataclysmic event and we are grateful to the Greater New Britain area donors who have helped us build this fund and to the agencies that are providing direct assistance to the displaced families” said Community Foundation President David Obedzinski. “Agencies in Puerto Rico are now able to begin discussions about aid we can provide and we look forward to assisting them also with this fund.”

To donate online, visit www.cfgnb.org and click on the Give Now button and select Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Relief Fund on the drop down menu. To donate by mail, make a check payable to the Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico Relief Fund and mail to Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, 74A Vine Street, New Britain, CT 06052.

Established in 1941, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain is “Where Good Begins” in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. The Foundation works to inspire philanthropy, manage permanent charitable assets effectively, and partner to address key community issues through strategic leadership.  For more information, visit www.cfgnb.org.