NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Today, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and Mrs. Gayle Benson announced $1,117,000 in immediate assistance grants to local nonprofits leading disaster response. Generous matching funds were provided by Mrs. Gayle Benson ($466,000) and the Dick J. Guidry Fund ($150,000). The Foundation has now distributed nearly $1.8 million in three rounds of grants in Hurricane Ida Relief. Since activating the Disaster Response & Restoration Fund, over 1100 individuals have contributed and over $4 million has been raised. Match funding from the Dick J. Guidry Fund was granted to support nonprofits in South Lafourche.

“Having just spent time with our nonprofit partners on the ground in our region’s most-impacted communities, I can say first-hand that these grants will be put to good use,” said Andy Kopplin, President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “The devastation from the storm has left entire communities in need and thanks to generous donors, our region will be in a better position to build back.”

The Greater New Orleans Foundation is the community foundation for the 13-parish Southeast Louisiana region (Assumption, Lafourche, Terrebonne, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Tammany, Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Tangipahoa, and Washington) and has a board approved disaster response strategy that prioritizes Equity, Resilience, Nonprofit Sustainability, and Civic Participation.

After receiving guidance from parish officials performing damage assessments, and conducting due diligence to verify that the following nonprofits are actively responding to the unfolding disaster, the Foundation has made 27 separate grants ranging from $2,000 – $125,000 to the following organizations that are providing emergency food and shelter; health services; cash assistance; legal aid and technical assistance for residents working to navigate applications for assistance; and support mucking and gutting operations:

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“We must continue to support those impacted by Hurricane Ida’s destruction,” said Mrs. Gayle Benson, team owner of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans. “The road to recovery will be long, but our partnership with the Greater New Orleans Foundation allows us to get critical funds in the hands of nonprofits leading disaster response on the front lines.”

“As our Parish and region deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, we are fortunate to have partners like the Greater New Orleans Foundation,” said Archie Chaisson, President of Lafourche Parish. “Working together has given us the opportunity to share with them information about the nonprofits in our parish who are having the most impact so the Foundation can support them with grant dollars.”

Through the Disaster Response & Restoration Fund, the Foundation also mobilizes and supports a network of voluntary and community organizations active in disasters (VOADS and COADS) whose expertise is deployed locally, nationally, and internationally. And the fund is used to honor the tradition of “paying it forward” by coordinating with a network of community foundations when disaster strikes other communities to get immediate support to the most vulnerable citizens. The Disaster Response & Restoration Fund provides immediate relief as well as long-term rebuilding support.

“We are always so appreciative of the long standing relationship between the United Houma Nation and the Greater New Orleans Foundation,” said ​​Lanor Curole, United Houma Nation Director/Administrator. “Because of that friendship, the Foundation deeply understands the needs of our community. Both Terrebonne and Lafourche were at the forefront of the damage from Hurricane Ida, and the Foundation’s quick response has helped us continue to support the immediate needs of our people.”

Previous Hurricane Ida Disaster Response & Restoration Fund grant making:

Leading up to and after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, the Greater New Orleans Foundation has made 18 separate grants ranging from $10,000 – $100,000 to organizations that provide emergency food and water, assist with road clearing in coordination with local governments, provide legal aid and technical assistance for residents working to navigate applications for assistance; support mucking and gutting operations; and diaper distribution:

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“We are so grateful to the Greater New Orleans Foundation;” said Jonathan Foret, Helio Foundation Board Chair. “They picked up the phone to reach out and help and came to visit us and our community, to really understand our needs and current situation. To know we are heard and seen means so much and to receive funding so quickly and smoothly is imperative at a time like this. The Foundation’s Disaster Response & Restoration Fund grant will change people’s lives in days, not weeks or months. And that immediate bright spot is just crucial.”

The Disaster Response & Restoration Fund has received generous contributions from: 

Mrs. Gayle Benson

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

The Baltimore Ravens and The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation, Inc.

The United Health Foundation

Chevron, USA

The Community Foundation of North Louisiana

Aramco Americas

The PepsiCo Foundation

Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The TJX Foundation, Inc.

American Endowment Foundation (AEF)

IBERIABANK/First Horizon

JPMorgan Chase Foundation

Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP

The Boeing Company

Dick J. Guidry Fund

Reynolds American and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company

William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

The Kresge Foundation

Duane Morris, LLP

Noah’s Wish Fund


Donations can be made to the Disaster Response and Restoration Fund here.