Virginians are a generous bunch. Since Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) stores began accepting donations for February’s tornado victims two weeks ago, customers have contributed a stunning $86,000 to the cause.
“It’s inspiring to see the outpouring of support for fellow citizens during times of hardship and natural disaster,” said Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “Having visited the communities devastated by these tornadoes, I’m thrilled by the generosity of Virginians and appreciate ABC’s role in delivering needed assistance to these ravaged areas,” he said.
In February, several people lost their lives, others were injured and many homes and businesses were destroyed or damaged when tornados swept through the commonwealth. Virginia ABC began collecting tax deductible donations at each of its 358 stores across the state to help those who suffered losses from the storms.
“We are pleased ABC has been able to assist in the mission of raising funds for communities impacted by the winter tornadoes,” said ABC Chief Operating Officer Travis Hill. “ABC customers have risen to the call, and we hope they continue donating throughout the year as we work with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to bring additional resources to support storm recovery efforts.”
The Virginia Disaster Relief Fund, a state-managed fund administered by VDEM, helps finance the repair or reconstruction of underinsured homes and buildings and provides transportation assistance, temporary living expenses and other needed financial support for Virginians recovering from storm loss. Fund proceeds are distributed as grants to local long-term recovery groups, members of the Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and other nonprofit and faith-based organizations.
“On the one-month anniversary of February’s tornados, we applaud those who have given to the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund, which will provide urgent assistance to the people whose lives were affected by the severe storms,” said ABC Chairman Jeffery Painter.
In the wake of the April 2011 tornado crisis, Virginia ABC developed the capability for donations to be electronically transferred through the store’s point-of-sale systems to the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund. Since 2011, ABC customers and staff have donated more than $316,000 to the fund.
The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $1.8 billion to the general fund in the last five years. The agency currently operates 358 state stores. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 16,000 ABC licensed establishments while the Hearings and Appeals Division considers more than 700 cases each year. The agency also provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Now marking its 83rd year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its control, service and revenue mission.
Virginians Show Remarkable Generosity for Tornado Victims Through ABC Store Donations