Organizations Offer Relief to Victims, Businesses After Key Bridge Collapse


In the wake of the Key Bridge collapse, many Baltimore-based community agencies are offering aid to those affected by the tragedy. These include a fund started by The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, as well as support from more secular groups headed by Jewish people.

(NTSBgov, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Associated has set up a Key Bridge Emergency Fund to help provide support for the families of the victims, as well as residents of the area, first responders who assisted with relief and recovery efforts, now-unemployed dock workers and small businesses in the Key Bridge area. The Associated has established similar emergency funds in the past, such as their funds for Ukrainians living under siege during Russia’s invasion and for victims of the Oct. 7 attack in Israel.

“As an organization that is dedicated to the vitality of the Baltimore community, we are deeply concerned about the short- and long-term impact of this tragedy on our city, county and state.” said Michelle Gordon, The Associated’s chief of staff in an email introducing the emergency fund. “As the week unfolded, the impact of the Key Bridge’s loss became clearer. All reports indicate that the cleanup of the wreckage is complex and will take a very long time.”

The announcement also noted that the local and federal government will be largely responsible for wreckage clean up and bridge rebuilding efforts, but addressing the human impact of the collapse is largely up to the local community.

“As a Jewish community, we must demonstrate our support for Charm City in her time of need,” Gordon said. “May we go forth with strength, resolve and partnership in the wake of this enormous impact on our entire Baltimore region.”

Local business owners have also been impacted by the collapse of the bridge, as it cut off a crucial route to many businesses that rely on local traffic. The Greater Baltimore Chamber of Commerce has reaffirmed its commitment to help local businesses, particularly ones whose operations could be impacted by the collapse.

“The Francis Scott Key Bridge is a critical connector for commercial transportation throughout our region and state. We anticipate that its closure will disrupt the workforce with longer commutes,” wrote Beth Rheingold, GBCC’s president and CEO, in an email sent to GBCC members and representatives of local businesses. “Supply chains may be impacted, and we might see some volatility in pricing as a result. But if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we know how to face adversity and adjust as necessary.”

Rheingold has previously been featured in the JT’s Last Word section for her work leading GBCC.

In the email, she suggests that any local businesses that may have been affected by the collapse contact GBCC so they can get a better sense of the scope of businesses impacted.

GBCC plans to approach the Small Business Administration with their findings to better determine the amount of relief that needs to be sent. The organization has been in contact with the SBA’s Disaster Relief and Recovery Office since the collapse happened.

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