More than $995,000 has been donated or pledged to the West Reading Disaster Recovery Fund since it was established on Saturday, March 25. Donations and pledges have been made by thousands of individuals, families, and businesses across Berks County and the country.
To assist with urgent, immediate needs, more than $450,000 has already been distributed to the families of those who died and to those displaced from their homes.
“Out of respect for the families, we will not be providing specific details regarding those distributions,” said Kevin K. Murphy, president of Berks County Community Foundation, which created the fund in partnership with the United Way of Berks County at the request of West Reading Borough Council. “Our hope is that the funding will ease their burden as they cope with their loss.”
The West Reading Disaster Relief Fund will continue to accept donations until May 31, 2023, at which time it will sunset, with all remaining funding to be held for immediate and future needs related to the following priorities:
- Support to the families of individuals killed in the explosion for immediate financial losses.
- Support to individuals displaced from their homes as a result of the explosion.
- Support to organizations helping individuals displaced from employment as a result of the explosion.
- Support to the Borough of West Reading for planning and/or implementation of historical commemoration of the explosion (including, but not limited to the creation of a memorial to those lost).
“We are grateful to everyone who has given to the fund, including so many of our local businesses,” said Tammy White, president of the United Way of Berks County. “The outpouring of support of neighbor helping neighbor has been inspiring. We continue to thank everyone for the kind generosity.”