Almost two months ago when Entergy launched a unique fund designed to help bring hurricane victims back home, it expected to have modest success in fundraising and interest for help -- especially in the face of heavy fundraising competition from national organizations.
Yet, with a $1 million seed check written by the company, and generous donations from individuals, companies and organizations from around the world, the company has to date raised approximately $3.5 million for the Power of Hope Fund.
But since then the fund has been overwhelmed with requests for aid. More than 8000 applications for assistance have been submitted asking for more than $500 million in help.
"We knew there would be a great need for people who needed help in returning home but, the response has been overwhelming," said Patty Riddlebarger, director of Entergy's office of Corporate Social Responsibility. "We want to be able to help as many families as we can, but unless more donors step forward, many of the applicants who are seeking help in returning to the community will not receive the aid they need."
Despite the generosity of contributors from around the world, like the TXU Corporation and its employees that donated more than $300,000 and the Federation of Electric Companies of Japan which donated $200,000, more help is needed.
Entergy is asking residents and businesses to join in helping to fund the Power of Hope, to help families and communities rebuild. With communities rebuilding, businesses can look forward to a return of their markets. It is a win-win for everyone involved. Contributions can be made by logging on to www.powerofhope.com.
The Power of Hope Fund is unique because it is designed to help families displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita transition from shelters and temporary living quarters back into their home communities. Unlike other disaster relief efforts which target immediate needs such as emergency shelter, the Power of Hope Fund focuses on helping victims transition from shelters and return to their communities by providing assistance with such needs as housing, home repair, and transportation.
The fund is administered by the Foundation for the Mid South, which is reviewing all fund applications and making grant awards. Grants will be awarded on the basis of need, subject to fund availability. And because the Foundation for the Mid South has waived administrative fees, 100 percent of the donations provide aid for victims. All contributions are fully tax deductible.