Flood recovery efforts in the Minot area received a boost Monday with gift of more than $1 million from Catholic Charities North Dakota.
The agency held a news conference to announce the grant, which will go to four groups that provide rebuilding assistance and other aid to people recovering from the flood.
"Catholic Charities North Dakota is proud to help Minot and the surrounding communities in their rebuilding process from the devastating flood of 2011," said Larry Bernhardt, executive director of the Fargo-based agency. "We hope that our efforts will assist those in need in rebuilding their homes and their lives."
The grant will provide $750,000 to Recovery Warehouse for purchase of building supplies; $150,000 to the Souris River Basin Unmet Needs Committee to address needs of flooded families not met through other programs; $100,000 to Mennonite Disaster Service to meet rebuilding and other needs of families receiving assistance from its volunteers; and $25,000 to recognize and honor Resources Agency Flood Team (RAFT) volunteer case managers and cover administrative costs.
Shirley Dykshoorn, state program director with Lutheran Disaster Response, said the gift is important in providing the resources to promote recovery. Donations toward building materials have been critical in keeping volunteer rebuilding efforts going for the most vulnerble population, she said.
"When we reach a point that there's a real need, somehow our prayers are answered. This is an example of a gift that has made a real difference," she said.
Bernhardt said Catholic Charities USA previously had provided thousands of dollars to its North Dakota affiliate for 2011 disaster relief, but it had additional funds that it was interested in supplying. The organization was impressed with the way that its other grants had been used in North Dakota, he said. Catholic Charities North Dakota worked in partnership with other agencies to direct more aid to people in need rather than spending on administration.
At the suggestion of Catholic Charities USA, the North Dakota affiliate submitted a request, asking for $250,000. The national organization granted $1 million.
Disaster relief is just one of missions of Catholic Charities North Dakota. Among its activities, the organization operates services for adoption, counseling and guardianship for people with developmental disabilities.