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Recommendations for Where to Give Donations
for the Victims of Hurricane Katrina

by Christina Clamp & Charles Knight

This report has two purposes. The first is to summarize the long term issues that concern redevelopment and resettlement of people. The second is to identify organizations that are committed to grassroots development in the hurricane affected areas of Mississippi and Louisiana. While most of us have been deeply disturbed by the images on the news of how widespread the devastation has been in New Orleans and coastal areas of MS, there are two levels of need that will be required to rebuild the region and to restore people to homes and jobs in the region: relief in the short term and redevelopment assistance in the long term. Everyone who lost their homes and jobs in the affected areas deserves our help and support. This set of recommendations emphasizes organizations that are serving low income and African American residents in both rural and urban areas.

There is a very real concern as noted in the press that there will be efforts to prevent or discourage poor Black residents from returning to New Orleans. There was such an attempt in Tarboro NC after the flooding caused by Hurricane Floyd, according to Joyce Dickens of Rocky Mount Edgecomb CDC. This is the reason that this report focuses on identifying resources to specifically support the African American communities affected by the hurricane. An article titled "Old-Line Families Escape Worst of Flood And Plot the Future; Mr. O'Dwyer, at His Mansion, Enjoys Highball With Ice; Meeting With the Mayor" published by the Dow Jones & Company, Inc. reported that the old-line whites would like to use their resources to keep the poor Blacks out of a rebuilt New Orleans.

Mercy Corps outlines the stages of support that will be required to rebuild the affected communities on their website. "In our agency's experience, there are three overlapping stages of disaster response. During the first stage, governments and humanitarian organizations rush to provide survivors with basic needs such as food, water and temporary shelter. In the second stage, the effort targets emerging public health concerns and problems. The third stage seeks to help families displaced by the disaster return to their communities, rebuild and restore local economies." (

According to information provided by Knowledgeplex (, the website of Fannie Mae Foundation, it is estimated that 200,000 homes are structurally damaged by the floods in New Orleans. It is estimated that there are 20,000 people who were in public housing that will need to be placed into other public housing outside of New Orleans. It is projected that the rebuilding will take years and billions of dollars. There are two types of aid that will be needed. There is the immediate need to support people in this transition while they are homeless and until they are able to be placed in new homes and jobs. The organizations which can provide this support are at the top of the list.

The Boston Globe (9/9/05) reported that speculators are already looking for opportunities to buy up properties from families who can’t afford to rebuild or who are fearful of returning. This is the basis of the concerns about how the misfortunes of New Orleans black community may be exploited.

Short term relief organizations:

  • Mississippi Primary Health Care Association ( provides care to those underserved by the medical establishment and has a network of community health centers.

Just this Thurday, LEAN members provided an airdrop of food, water, and medical supplies to the trapped residents of St. Bernard and Plaquemine Parishes, two of the most inundated areas in the state. Saturday, LEAN dropped more supplies for stranded people in Washington Parish. LEAN is also working hard now to raise more funds to allow local people, working with local government leaders to provide direct, immediate assistance with all the efficiency that comes from not being a bureaucrat or an outsider. I've already made a contribution to the Red Cross to offer some assistance to the hurricane victims in Louisiana, but I've decided to write a check for ten times that amount to the Louisiana Environmental Action Network in order to support people that I know have both the big hearts and the local knowledge needed to help meet the crying humanitarian needs in Louisiana. I also know that LEAN won't just leave the area when the immediate crisis is over. LEAN will also work to address the toxic cesspool and chemical contamination that will be left behind when the water finally recedes. I’m asking everyone I know to join me in contributing money directly to LEAN for their local efforts in disaster relief. Every penny will be used well. I would trust Marylee with my life and I know her effort will save lives. Please dig deep and give as much as you can to: LEAN, 162 Craydon Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70806. signed – Steve Chase.

  • American Friends Service Committee

"Working collaboratively to relieve pain and suffering has been a major focus of the Service Committee’s highly regarded international affairs work," McNish explains. "The key is to identify approaches that the people who have been most affected feel are vitally needed and will strengthen the community as a whole."

Donations to the AFSC Crisis Fund should be made payable and be sent to AFSC Development, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102. To contribute via Visa or MasterCard, call 1-888-588-2372, ext. 1, or through the AFSC website at

  • Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is committed to helping survivors at all stages along the way. We are prepared to assist with a long-term recovery.

In the coming weeks and months, Mercy Corps will focus on four strategic program areas:

    • Emergency Relief: Mercy Corps will provide critical financial, technical and material aid support to survivors of the disaster. This includes provision of shelter, food, water, sanitation and health care to displaced populations. Emergency relief will be provided in coordination with the efforts of other relief organizations.
    • Community Mobilization: Mercy Corps believes that the participation of local communities in their own recovery and rebuilding process is critical for the long term success and sustainability of a program. This is also critical in overcoming psychosocial trauma and beginning to rebuild the bonds of community. Mercy Corps will work with local groups to support their own rebuilding and recovery process in geographic areas where this is possible.
    • Psychosocial Programs: The effect of a disaster like Hurricane Katrina can have a lasting traumatic impact on the survivors, especially children. Children in particular are vulnerable to trauma, as it is more difficult for them to make sense of what happened. Mercy Corps will support psychosocial programs that help the survivors overcome their trauma, with a special emphasis on children. We will work with schools, daycare centers, children's service agencies and other local groups to provide appropriate psychosocial support to children. We will focus on activities that restore healthy activities and routines for children, as well as ways to engage the children themselves in the planning and implementation of programs.
    • Economic Recovery: Mercy Corps will work with local groups to help poor families rebuild their livelihoods. These programs will include helping people rebuild their businesses, create employment and earn income. The quicker families can get back on their feet economically and become independent, the quicker their communities will get back to normal.

    Rebuilding and recovery will take months. The needs are immense. Please make a generous donation to help hurricane survivors move past our country's worst disaster ever.


Community Foundations in the Affected Areas

Gulf Coast Community Foundation
The Gulf Coast Community Foundation in Biloxi, MS will have a mailing address to receive contributions. In the meantime, they are using the facilities of Just type in Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Mississippi.
Greater New Orleans Foundation
The Greater New Orleans Foundation has established a fund to receive on-line contributions for hurricane relief in that community.  Go to the foundation's website ( and click on Hurricane Katrina Recovery Fund.

Baton Rouge Area Foundation
The Hurricane Katrina Displaced Residents Fund will benefit those
individuals evacuated to Baton Rouge from the hurricane impacted areas in Greater New Orleans, who are now unable to return for what maybe an extended period.  The Hurricane Katrina New Orleans Recovery Fund will focus on the rebuilding of infrastructure to provide basic human services to residents of these devastated areas.

Long Term Recovery Aid Providers:

  • Hurricane Katrina Recovery Fund at the Twenty-First Century Foundation

271 West 125th Street, Suite 303
New York, NY 10027-4424
Tel. (212) 662-3700
Fax (212) 662-6690
Contact: Reverend John Vaughn, Program Director
The Twenty-First Century Foundation ( 212- 662-3700 (

A Direct Response to Support Black Community Relief and Rebuilding in Louisiana/Mississippi/Alabama. The mission of the Hurricane Katrina Recovery Fund is to provide targeted support to rebuild the lives of displaced low income people impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The fund will provide strategic grants for relief, recovery and advocacy efforts that promote long term equitable solutions.

People's Hurricane Fund will be directed and administered by New Orleanian evacuees. The Young People's Project, a 501(c)3 organization formed by graduates of the Algebra Project, has agreed to accept donations on behalf of this fund. We are in the process of setting up a central command post in Jackson, MS, where we will have phone lines, fax, email and a web page to centralize information. We will need volunteers to staff this office. Donations can be mailed to: The People's Hurricane Fund c/o The Young People's Project, 99 Bishop Allen Drive, Cambridge, MA 02139. If you have comments of how to proceed or need more information, please email them to Curtis Muhammad ( and Becky Belcore (

  • ACORN Hurricane Recovery and Rebuilding Fund

ACORN's Headquarters, in New Orleans, LA, and the homes and neighborhoods of many of its members there, have been devastated by hurricane Katrina.

We are working to find and relocate out 9,000 New Orleans member families, provide mortgage counseling, and organizing to get the victims of Katrina the voice and services they need.

  • Cooperative Development Fund

Katrina Cooperative Recovery Fund

The fund is working with Ralph Paige and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund to get a better idea of the situation on the ground and we will target their efforts to the Federation and its member farmers and cooperatives.

Liz Bailey
Executive Director
Cooperative Development Foundation
1401 New York Ave, NW Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
202.638.1374 (fax)

  • National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions ( has member credit unions in New Orleans that were affected. These credit unions are serving the "unbanked" and poorest neighborhoods. They will need our help to reopen their doors in New Orleans and elsewhere in the Gulf coast.

ECD Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund

Through the ECD Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, Enterprise Corporation of the Delta/ Hope Community Credit Union (ECD/HOPE) is participating in the immediate and the long-term storm recovery efforts in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Initially, donated funds will be routed to community partners who are providing food, clothing and shelter for those in Louisiana and Mississippi who were displaced by the storm.

As these basic needs lessen, your funds will support payment deferrals, provide down payment assistance, establish loss reserves, and otherwise extend a bridge to those recovering from this tragedy. In this role, ECD/HOPE will build on twelve years of experience in strengthening distressed areas to help residents rebuild their lives, homes, businesses and communities.

The Enterprise Corporation of the Delta is a not-for-profit community development financial institution that builds assets, strengthens lives and improves the quality of life in distressed Mid South communities. Contributions to the ECD Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund are tax deductible.


Purpose: Core support for AJAMM Ministries to strengthen the capacities of women in ministry to take on leadership roles in their communities

Location: New Orleans, LA (currently they have been evacuated to the Astrodome)

Checks of support can be directed to c/o Linetta Gilbert, Ford Foundation, 320 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017 and made out to AJAMM Ministries/Freedom Inc.


Prepared by Christina A. Clamp (SNHU) and Charles Knight (Commonwealth Institute)

The Commonwealth Foundation
Commonwealth Institute
186 Hampshire St.,
Cambridge, MA 02139

School of Community Economic Development
Southern New Hampshire University
2500 N. River Rd.
Manchester, NH 03106

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