For Immediate Release
For more information:
Briget Shields, Friends of the Harmed, 412-799-3236
Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth, 610-678-7726
Neighbors to Help Neighbors in Statewide Campaign to Provide Clean Water, Air Monitors to Fracking Victims
Halt the Harm Network Kicks-Off localSTAND Campaign to Link Volunteers with Friends of the Harmed Relief Effort
Washington, DC: DC-based Halt the Harm Network announced today that it has launched a campaign called localSTAND on its website to help Pennsylvanians impacted by fracking. The pilot campaign will link volunteers willing to host localSTAND fundraising events with Pittsburgh-based Friends of the Harmed, an organization that supplies replacement water, air monitor, air scrubbers, and other equipment to people whose water and air have become contaminated by fracking. localSTAND events can be anything from small fundraising efforts like collection jars in local shops and bake sales to more elaborate events like concerts. The hosts organize the fundraisers; the Halt the Harm Network provides the tools to help them succeed.
It’s easy to sign up to host a localSTAND in Pennsylvania. After signing up, Halt the Harm Network provides access to a toolkit, training video and mobile credit card reader to accept payments. Anyone interested in hosting a localSTAND event can sign up at http://halttheharm.net/localstand.
“We are so grateful for the help from localSTAND and Halt the Harmed Network. Friends of the Harmed has become the Red Cross of the fracking communities of Western Pennsylvania. It’s unfortunate the people living in the shale fields in Pennsylvania have been abandoned by both our government and the industry that has harmed them. We have made it our mission to help them in any way we can. With the support from localSTAND, our mission will continue to help those who have been living without potable water and and breathing toxic air for the past six years here in Western Pennsylvania. We believe everyone deserves to have clean air and water,” Briget Shields, Outreach Director, Friends of the Harmed.
One of the people Friends of the Harmed helped in 2014 was a 90-year old woman in Washington County who is known as Me Ma. “The spills keep happening with no end in sight; just illness and more casualties. But the water buffaloes sure eased my mind, and the clean air machine is wonderful,” said Me Ma, Washington County, PA “No more itching after bathing, and that so many people cared about an elderly woman like me. Thank you for answering my prayers.”
The idea for localSTAND began as a statewide campaign in 2013 started by a network of anti-fracking advocates led by the grassroots group Berks Gas Truth.
“The idea of localSTAND evolved from a series of discussions about how to bring attention to the fact that impacted Pennsylvanians were not being helped sufficiently, if at all, by the companies responsible for contaminating their water and polluting their air, nor by the government. The idea of sending the message that we’re resorting to holding bake sales to raise funds to help our fellow Pennsylvanians appealed to us, but we quickly realized that the needs were so great that a true relief effort like is required. We realized we could lighten the load of volunteers coordinating amazing efforts like Friends of the Harmed by providing some of the funds they need to do their work. We’re hopeful that with Halt the Harm’s help, we can help them help many more people,” said Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth.