For most Ellicott City residents and business owners, recovering and rebuilding is their prime focus after Saturday’s floods caused millions of dollars in damage along Main Street.
To help with the funding that many have had issues getting insurance to cover, friends, family members and small business owners are taking to the internet to raise money. Search “Ellicott City, MD” on GoFundMe, and you’ll find thousands of results, with the first few pages dedicated to flood relief funds.
Jason Barnes, owner of All Time Toys on Main Street, suffered thousands of dollars in damages to his toy store, which was his family’s only source of income. He was also a member of the “human chain” rescue chain video that went viral. His GoFundMe, started by his stepmother, raised $10,000 in less than a day and has been shared almost 2,000 times on Facebook and Twitter. (All dollar figures are as of 4 p.m. Monday.)
Cunningham Studios, a decorative painting company on Frederick Road, took in 4 feet of water during the storm. Owner Deanne Marie Lenehan lost supplies and paintings, including pieces she had in her portfolio since she started 12 years ago, according to her GoFundMe page. Lenehan reached her goal of $5,000 in less than a day; however she has still not heard from her insurance company.
Other Ellicott City GoFundMe pages have not yet been as successful. One page set up for Ellicott City residents Jonny Maravetz and his girlfriend Amy is raising money to fund their basement repairs. (Maravetz was also part of the human chain rescue.) Their page has raised almost half of their $10,000 goal in almost a day. The GoFundMe for the Still Life Gallery on Main Street has met almost $2,000 of its goal $25,000. The page for the A La Mode boutique has also met almost half of its goal of $5,000. The Rumor Mill Fusion Bar and Restaurant, which has two separate pages, has about $1,000 in total.
Supporters of Ellicott City have also started various general rebuilding fundraising efforts on the site, raising about $2,000 so far.
Some areas of Baltimore were affected by the flooding as well – one Gwynn Oak family who lost their two dogs in the flood set up a GoFundMe page for repairs to their home. Nepenthe Homebrew, a store for people looking to make their own beer and wine, has raised more than $8,000 for repairs to their Meadow Mill shopping center store.
Thousands of people use GoFundMe for everything from disaster relief to help with paying rent. But not everyone gets the amount you see on their page – the site charges a five percent deduction fee from every donation received. While the donor doesn’t get charged, those running the campaign could notice a significant difference in their final fundraising outcome.