Gayle Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints football team, has kicked off the donations to a recovery fund with a $1 million pledge.
"As South Louisiana and the Gulf Coast begin to assess the significant damage inflicted by Hurricane Ida, please know our prayers are with all of those who have suffered from the impacts of this historical storm. We have great faith in the resilience and strength of our community and look forward to doing everything in our power to help lead in the recovery," a release from Benson states. "Most important, we as an organization want to do everything within our power to assist those who have been impacted by the storm and have activated our Gulf Coast Renewal Fund with Owner Gayle Benson making an initial donation of $1 million to support our community throughout Louisiana and the Gulf Coast."
If you want to help, too, you can go here: NewOrleansSaints.com/hurricaneida [neworleanssaints.com].
"We will continue to be in close communication with governmental and community leaders to determine where aid and assistance can most effectively be directed. More details on the fund and other initiatives will be provided in the coming days," the release states. "We know there is much work to be done to restore power and other infrastructure. We have been in touch with government leaders at every level to offer any assistance we can, including the use of any of our facilities - all of which have sustained only superficial damage. FEMA has accepted that offer and will be using portions of our Ochsner Sports Performance Center to stage their assistance efforts."
The team was evacuated to Dallas well in advance of the storm, and continues to work toward their first game, against the Green Bay Packers. The Caesars Superdome sustained only minor damage and will be ready to host games as soon as the city's "infrastructure will allow," the release states.
After Katrina, it was the team that in large part helped restore hope to the city. Benson acknowledges that.
"We greatly look forward to representing our city, state and region this season as we work together to restore our community. We know how much winning games can unite and inspire people in our region and we can’t wait to take advantage of that responsibility and opportunity," the release states. "Together, we will overcome these challenges the way we have so many times before and we will be stronger as a result."