United Way of Central Alabama presented a check of $194,143 to United Way of Lee County to support long-term tornado disaster relief. On March 3, 2019, a tornado hit the towns of Smith Station and Beauregard in Lee County, Alabama. Immediately following the natural disaster, United Way of Central Alabama asked Becky Benton, CEO of the United Way of Lee County what her community needed. Benton responded by requesting UWCA to set up a secure online fundraising site, so people could donate to Lee County’s long term recovery efforts. “We are a very small United Way”, stated Benton, “We only have 3 employees. Setting up the donation site, for us, without an IT staff, that is major. So, we were very appreciative when the United Way of Central Alabama reached out to us.”
Because of the partnership, thousands of donors throughout the country gave to the recovery efforts online and directly to the United Way of Central Alabama. To date, donors from 43 states and Puerto Rico have contributed to the relief fund.
When disasters strike, local United Way’s traditionally play a vital role convening long-term recovery committees to organize the community, people, and organizations that either have money, materials and manpower to aid in the recovery process. The United Way of Central Alabama, whose community experienced vast devastation as a result of the 2011 tornado outbreak, will continue to share its vast knowledge concerning the special role of a Long Term Recovery Committee with Lee County.
In the coming days, months and even years, Lee County will be working to recover from the March 2019 tornadoes. Thanks to their neighbor, the United Way of Central Alabama, and countless donors from across the country, they have resources to fully recover.