LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana has received a $1 million grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation to aid in Hurricane Laura relief.
The gift is among two of the largest to the Foundation’s Hurricane Relief and Recovery Fund, which has raised more than $5.5 million in about three weeks since Laura, according to information from Sara Judson, CEO of the Community.
We are grateful that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation has entrusted us with this generous gift,” Judson said in a statement. “Our staff will use what it has learned on survey missions of the region to make pinpoint grants to nonprofits helping neighbors doing what they have always done after storms – helping each other reclaim their homes and towns.”
The grant is part of Blue Cross Foundation’s $5 million commitment to meet the needs of communities rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Laura.
It’s one of two $1 million grants from the foundation, with the other $3 million placed in its Community Crisis and Disaster Response grant fund.
“The Community Foundation was among the first to respond after the impact of Hurricane Laura,” said Michael Tipton, president of the Blue Cross Foundation. “We have been encouraged by their response and are grateful for their leadership to attract donations from across our state and country to ensure the funds needed for rebuilding and recovery in the region."
“The damage here is devastating,” said Ann Knapp, board chair of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana who lives in Lake Charles. "These kinds of grants can ease the strain on people by keeping them healthily fed, in stable housing and more while they focus on rebuilding and resuming their lives.”
Judson said the Community Foundation has already issued more than $850,000 to nonprofits in the area. All the funding so far is paying to cover immediate needs — food, water, tools and other essentials to stabilize people so they can start to rebuild.