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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Local Red Cross Chapter Lands $15,000 Grant for Displaced NKY Families

39 percent increase in NKY home fires during coronavirus pandemic fuels increased calls for aid

A fire at Champions Club Apartments in Florence last month has been ruled an accident, according to the Florence Fire and EMS Department.

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Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky has granted $15,000 to the American Red Cross Greater Cincinnati Tri-State Chapter to support the nonprofit’s emergency efforts in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties. The nonprofit has responded to a dramatic increase in home fires over the past year, due to households staying home much more in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

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While the national number of home fires rose 16 percent over the last year, Northern Kentucky saw a 39 percent increase. Red Cross was able to quickly meet each affected family, disbursing nearly $75,000 in their last fiscal year alone to hundreds of Northern Kentuckians. 

“Horizon Community Funds gladly supports our local Red Cross chapter in their role as a ‘second responder’ in times of crisis for our Northern Kentucky neighbors,” said Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson. “Our Coronavirus Relief Fund is flexible, and our advisory committees are nimble and responsive, for situations just like this. While we often see the notable needs like food, shelter, education, and healthcare presented for our support, we are grateful to Red Cross for making us aware of this critical issue that requires just as much care.” 

The $15,000 grant to Red Cross was awarded through Horizon Community Funds’ Horizon NKY Coronavirus Relief Fund, which has carefully deployed more than $800,000 since March 2020 for needs in Northern Kentucky that have arisen or been intensified because of the pandemic. The American Red Cross responds to home fires in Northern Kentucky almost daily, partnering Northern Kentucky Fire Departments during response. 

“We are extremely grateful to Horizon Community Funds for supporting the Red Cross through the NKY Coronavirus Relief Fund,” said Stephanie Byrd, Regional Executive of the American Red Cross Greater Cincinnati Tri-state. “Throughout the pandemic home fires have not stopped nor has our response to them. The outstanding volunteers in Northern Kentucky have made it possible for us to help our neighbors whose lives have been affected by a fire. Whether a single-family home or an apartment building, our volunteers bring help and hope.” 

The team at Red Cross will use the funds for pre-loaded debit cards that offer families flexible funding to purchase what they need after their belongings have been destroyed or damaged. Additionally, the agency works with these families to offer wraparound services regarding shelter, comfort, mental health, and financial relief. 

One fire earlier this year in a Florence apartment building hospitalized 8 and displaced more than 70, underscoring the need for emergency assistance that can be quickly and flexibly provided.  

Individuals and businesses are encouraged to donate to the Horizon NKY Coronavirus Relief Fund by: 
  • Texting “NKYRELIEF” to 44-321 
  • Visiting www.horizonfunds.org 
  • Mailing a check made payable to Horizon Community Funds (memo: NKY Coronavirus Relief Fund): 50 E. RiverCenter Blvd., Suite 431, Covington, KY 41011 

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