The United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area is stepping forward to create a fund to offer support for the Herkimer and Mohawk communities impacted by the hoshooting spree that claimed four lives and shocked many in the small Herkimer County villages.

There is not one coordinated source or information and referrals in the valley, according to Brenda Episcopo, executive director of the local United Way.

''We're coordinating with all the service providers. Down the road, we're already talking about what we do to re-engage people to certain areas that maybe they don't want to go around now,'' she said.

As an example, Episcopo says John the barber, who is still recovering from his gunshot wounds, was the caretaker for his 100-year old mother. There are services available, including Herkimer County Office for the Aging and the Resource Center for Independent Living, who can help.

There are children who witnessed incidents associated with this tragedy who may need help or support, too, she said.

Services are provided whether people are able to pay for them or not.

''United Way is not taking any administrative feeds out of this fund. 10- percent of what you give will go to the fund,'' Episcopo said.

Also, you can text 'UNITED' to 52000, and $10 will be added to your phone bill with the money going to the Valley Support Fund.





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