“The kindness and generosity of people across Nebraska and the United States is humbling, as close to $1.7 million has been collected for the Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund, with 100 percent of funds raised going to farmers, ranchers and rural community residents in need of assistance,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president. The fund was established by the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit, so donations meet the criteria for qualified charitable contributions for tax purposes.
“The response to this fund is overwhelming. For us to continue to rebuild our farms, ranches and rural communities, it will take patience and perseverance to get through the magnitude of the loss and destruction in Nebraska. We have seen requests for aid come into the Disaster Relief Fund totaling more than what we currently have in the fund. The amount we have raised doesn’t meet the assistance already requested, and additional applications are received each day,” Nelson said.
In Nebraska, 74 cities, 65 counties and four tribal areas have declared states of emergency. The cost of the damage has surpassed $1.3 billion, state officials said. This includes $449 million in damage to roads, levees and other infrastructure; $440 million in crop losses; and $400 million in cattle losses.
“Both the amount donated and the number and total dollar amount of requests for aid are changing daily. When we first started the fund, the immediate need in rural areas was water, food, shelter and medicine for people and animals. As health and safety situations stabilize, other needs have emerged, including clearing flood debris from pastures, fields and homes; rebuilding fences to protect livestock; paying for extra fuel to deliver hay to stranded cattle; and helping to restore fresh water to residents and animals in places like Boyd County,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation.
The need for assistance both short term and long term continues to grow. Each day there are different requests, and the Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund stands ready to help farmers, ranchers and rural communities to make Nebraska stronger.
“Nebraska is a special place with special people. Many of our friends and neighbors across the state are suffering. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been impacted by the recent blizzard and massive flooding events. The repairs and recovery from this disaster will take a huge amount of resources. Early relief fund distributions were made to meet immediate and emergency needs for farmers, ranchers, and rural families. The next step is to provide support for intermediate and long-term recovery efforts in areas where there are gaps in availability of insurance coverage and government assistance,” Nelson said.
We continue to seek financial donations to meet the growing aid requests coming into the Disaster Relief Fund, Schafer said.
“Every dollar counts. When we all give, we come together as one community, making Nebraska stronger. Please visit www.nefb.org/disaster to learn more about the Nebraska Farm Bureau Disaster Relief Fund and how you can join in supporting the clean-up and rebuilding efforts,” Schafer said.