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Near & Far Aid grant supports Sandy relief

Before the winds subsided in late October during Super Storm Sandy, Near & Far Aid President Jeanne Burris and Vice President Bitsy Higgins worked their cell phones checking in with local nonprofit agency partners to assess the needs on the ground and offer a helping hand.

“It’s what we do,” Burris said. “We help our neighbors in need. It’s been at the core of Near & Far Aid’s mission for more than 60 years.”

Within seven days, Fairfield-based Near & Far Aid had pledged 100% of net proceeds from their previously planned One Night Band event to benefit an emergency relief grant to aid those affected locally by Sandy, granting $25,500 toward local relief efforts.

“The outpouring of community support at One Night Band was truly inspiring,” Higgins said “Because of the generosity of so many, Near & Far Aid has the ability to offer assistance to those affected locally by the storm. At this point, the physical damage from the storm has been assessed but the insecurities created by the storm are not fully realized. Thousands in Fairfield County are experiencing the effects of the storm through homelessness, lost wages and the inability to access food and basic necessities.”

One Night Band, held at the Fairfield Theatre Company on Nov. 8, is hosted annually by Near & Far Aid. The organization partners with Band Together, another local nonprofit organization, to use live music as a vehicle to create community and support local philanthropy. Near & Far Aid created an “SOS” campaign for this event encouraging attendees to “Be A Life Saver” and make a direct donation to the relief fund.

The emergency relief grant will benefit Bridgeport Rescue Mission and Operation Hope, two nonprofit agencies with whom Near & Far Aid has a solid partnership. Both agencies are experiencing a significant increase in numbers of individuals and families served in hardest hit areas of Bridgeport, Fairfield and South Norwalk.

For more information on Near & Far Aid, visit nearandfaraid.org.

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