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Youth Groups Awarded Quake Aid

Realizing the emotional aftershocks of the Northridge earthquake could last for some time, the United Way has donated $100,000 to several youth organizations to help kids cope with the trauma.

“One of the things we were hearing was that the damage went beyond the buildings,” said George Bahamonde, regional vice president for the North Angeles Region United Way. “Even at this late date, the damage was still lingering with the kids.”

After the Northridge earthquake, local United Way officials said colleagues in Dade County, Fla., warned them to expect the emotional effects of the quake to last for years. The Florida officials said they were still seeing the effects of Hurricane Andrew, which struck that state in 1992.

The $100,000 grant is the last of $1.5 million in earthquake donations given to the United Way since January. It was distributed Thursday to eight youth organizations, including three chapters of the Boys and Girls Club in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys, as well as in Santa Monica.

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Other recipients include the Campfire Boys and Girls Los Angeles Council, the Woodcraft Rangers, the Verdugo Hills Boy Scouts, the San Fernando Valley Girl Scouts and the YWCA of Santa Monica.

“The whole objective is to help kids normalize their lives and put the earthquake behind them,” said Bahamonde.

The groups can use the money for peer-counseling sessions, field trips or other activities to help relieve the emotional stress still lingering from the earthquake.


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