The donation was announced on Wednesday by Dana Al Marashi, head of heritage and social affairs at the UAE Embassy in Washington, and officials from United Way of Collier County, Collier County Public Schools and Grace Place for Children and Families, who will receive a portion each of the donation.
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“The UAE is excited to be working with the United Way and Collier County to directly help families in this community,” said Ms Al Marashi. “This is what friends do for each other in times of need. As a friend of the United States, as a friend of the residents of Florida, and now as a friend of people across Collier County, the UAE is delighted to be able to help in some small way.”
The United Way of Collier County will use some of the money fund its ongoing Irma relief programming that assists the most affected members of the Collier County community.
“This donation is truly transformative and game changing providing immediate and longer-term relief for thousands of asset limited hard working families still plagued by this devastating hurricane,” said Steve Sanderson, President and chief executive of The United Way of Collier County.
Hurricane Irma hit damaged the technology infrastructure in many schools across the county. A portion of the donation will be used to rebuild that infrastructure and provide students with internet access.
The money will also be used to restore the organisation’s playgrounds, hard court and football field and help repair 30 homes of disadvantaged families in the Golden Gate community.
The UAE has an extensive record of helping US communities recover from natural disasters — from New Orleans to New Jersey after Hurricanes Katrina in 2005 and Sandy in 2012, to Joplin, Missouri in 2011, which was devastated by one of the largest tornadoes ever recorded in the US.
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