Fri, 30 September, 2005

Foundation Earmarks $1 Million for Local Relief Agencies to Assist Katrina/Rita Evacuees

Alexandria, LA – The Rapides Foundation is providing $1 million to go to agencies that are providing assistance to Hurricane Katrina/Rita evacuees in Central Louisiana.

The money will go to the United Way of Central Louisiana, which has set up a special fund – the Central Louisiana Katrina/Rita Response Fund. The United Way has established this Fund in order to provide shelter and other needed assistance for evacuees in our area.

The Foundation's Board of Trustees called an emergency vote to suspend the organization's grantmaking application process to immediately provide this funding.

This tremendous relief effort will seriously deplete those organizations' resources. Board Chairman Regionald Seastrunk explains, “The Foundation took emergency action because it recognizes this money is critical to ensure that our local relief agencies can provide vital assistance to evacuees, while still being able to provide their usual services for the people in Central Louisiana both now, and in the future."

In addition to the $1 million being given to the special United Way Fund, the Foundation will provide money – up to $200,000 – directly to school districts for expenses for students who have been evacuated and are enrolling in schools throughout Cenla. Districts will be paid $100 for each student enrolled to help defray fees and other costs.

Foundation President and CEO Joe Rosier says the Board wanted to help immediately, “We believe at this tragic time in our state's history, organizations and our people need to assist in this effort. The Foundation realizes the thousands of people who had to leave their homes to flee this storm are now living in our region and may need to stay here indefinitely and their children attend schools for many months. They must be cared for – we believe this money will help our local relief agencies do that job."

The Rapides Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the people in nine parishes in Central Louisiana.


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