Foundation Provides Financial Support for Hurricane Recovery

Foundation of the FBA Supports FBA Chapters Working on Hurricane Katrina Rehabilitation

Hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States, with total property damage estimated at $81 billion. Even now, almost a decade after the hurricane, many neighborhoods in Louisiana and Mississippi are still devastated and families are still struggling to recover.

The Foundation of the Federal Bar Association recently granted a total of $11,000 to two FBA chapters – the New Orleans Chapter and the Mississippi Chapter – to support chapter philanthropy projects related to serving communities most severely affected by Hurricane Katrina. These FBA chapters are working in partnership with Rebuilding Together New Orleans and Habitat for Humanity to help repair, renovate and rebuild storm‐damaged homes.

New Orleans Chapter:
Rebuilding Together New Orleans (RTNO) was founded in 1988 to help with neighborhood revitalization projects. After Hurricane Katrina, RTNO modified its mission to aid those displaced by the storm. Instead of smaller projects, RTNO began to focus on the total renovation and rebuilding of storm‐damaged homes. RTNO’s home rehabilitation program targets the urban poor, who are the population in New Orleans most affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Volunteers work under the supervision of skilled RTNO construction staff to rebuild homes of low-income, elderly and/or disabled clientele. The New Orleans Chapter of the FBA members have volunteered with RTNO, working under the supervision of skilled RTNO construction staff to rebuild homes of low‐income, elderly and/or disabled clientele.

“We wanted to offer something that members could do together to benefit the community,” says Eric Nowak, Immediate Past President of the New Orleans Chapter. “This really is a ‘do good‐feel good’ philanthropic experience. Our members who attend really enjoy the experience.”

With the financial support of the Foundation of the FBA, the New Orleans Chapter will be able to continue its volunteer work with RTNO, offering additional “volunteer work days.” Money from the Foundation of the FBA will underwrite the $20 per person “commitment fee” for volunteers; this fee helps to support the costs of building supplies, safety equipment, insurance, transportation, fuel, staff and other administrative fees for RTNO.

Mississippi Chapter:
The Gulf Coast of Mississippi suffered near total devastation from Hurricane Katrina. Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast (HFHMGC) works in partnership with community stakeholders to create innovative, sustainable housing solutions. Currently, HFHMGC has seven projects in process, including six homes being rehabilitated through the Mississippi Development Authority’s Neighborhood Home Program.

Because the Mississippi Chapter of the FBA covers the entire State of Mississippi, many FBA members who wish to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity would require their own housing arrangements during their volunteer service. HFHMGC provides overnight accommodations for out‐of‐town volunteers for a $175 fee, which covers the facilities and meals for up to 5 nights and up to 15 meals.

“Funds from the Foundation of the FBA will help offset the volunteer housing for our chapter’s members and their families who wish to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” explains Danielle K. Brewer, Mississippi Chapter Secretary. “We can now provide information to our chapter’s members about this outstanding volunteer opportunity, and that the cost of housing is funded by the Foundation.”

The funds provided to these FBA chapters were made possible by charitable gifts by FBA members like you. To the nearly 2,500 FBA members who have donated to the Foundation over the past year, thank you. The Foundation of the Federal Bar Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; gifts may be tax deductible. For more information about the Foundation of the FBA, please see www.fedbar.org/foundation.

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