NewsCovering Louisiana


UPDATE: Companies stepping up with donations after Hurricane Laura

Posted at 11:55 AM, Sep 14, 2020

Several companies have stepped up to help those affected by Hurricane Laura.

Stine Home & Yard is donating $50,000 to its Employees 1st foundation to provide hurricane recovery assistance.

Employees 1st makes cash grants to Stine associates who are facing unexpected difficulties that require financial assistance.

“Many of our partners in the vendor community approached us following the great flood of 2016 and again after Tropical Storm Harvey in 2017 asking how they could help our associates who had been affected by these disasters,” says Stine CEO Dennis Stine. “At that time, Stine did not have a 501c3 foundation in place. I’m proud to say that now we do.”

The grant program is available to Stine’s 600+ qualifying employees who work at 10 locations across the state of Louisiana and one location in Mississippi. All applications are reviewed and grants awarded by an independent non-profit organization, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF).

Many of Stine’s employees are making payroll contributions throughout the year to help their fellow associates in a time of need. Outside companies and individuals are welcome to make contributions as well.

Stine began 2020 by making a $10,000 corporate contribution to the Employees 1st foundation. Last week Stine donated an additional $50,000 to help cover the number of grants that are anticipated due to hardships caused by Hurricane Laura.

Over 70 applications related to Hurricane Laura have been received to date, and this number is expected to grow.

“These grants are not designed to cover the complete cost of each applicant’s need,’ Stine explained, “but to give our associates the helping hand they need during a difficult time.”

Stine Employees 1st contributions are tax deductible and year-end reporting is provided by BRAF. Anyone interested in contributing to the program may visit []. Anyone with questions may contact Jeremy Stine,, 337-802-9793.

Entergy Louisiana has announced that it is continuing its relief efforts in southwest Louisiana by providing more than $550,000 to nonprofit organizations assisting those affected by Hurricane Laura.

The company established a donor-advised fund with the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana and contributed $200,000 to the fund. Additionally, Entergy allocated another $200,000 from an American Red Cross Disaster Responder Partnership to directly aid southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana communities impacted by the storm.

Entergy Louisiana also gave $100,000 to the United Way of Southwest Louisiana, which has been instrumental in providing support for the region. Finally, Entergy is providing Southwest Health Services a grant of $25,000, Care Health Services of Sulfur a grant of $20,000 and providing grants to various Cameron Parish community organizations.

“Our restoration efforts in response to Hurricane Laura have been substantial, but we know that restoring power is just the first step in recovery,” said Phillip May, Entergy Louisiana president and CEO. “Our commitment to the communities we serve is unyielding, and we are dedicated to aiding our customers as they rebuild their homes and neighborhoods in the weeks and months ahead.”

Entergy Louisiana will work with the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana, a nonprofit, public charity, to provide grants to community organizations focused on referral assistance and safety net services for individuals and families, including temporary lodging, food and clothing for those affected by the storm.

“The foundation is the perfect partner to direct funding for local organizations that will help people begin rebuilding their lives,” said Jody Montelaro, vice president of public affairs for Entergy Louisiana. “We didn’t want to just give a check. We wanted to make sure that it was put into the hands of people who need it most, and we will be working to identify additional partner organizations to utilize these dollars.”

The Red Cross dollars continue to assist with disaster relief and recovery throughout southwest Louisiana. The support will help victims recover and get back on their feet in the challenging weeks and months ahead.

Tractor Supply Company, the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, has pledged its support to Gulf-area pet and animal organizations impacted by Hurricane Laura. Tractor Supply will donate a total of $100,000 to facilities in Louisiana and Texas, including shelters, humane societies, animal rescues and more.

Hurricane Laura made landfall on August 27, sustaining winds around 150 mph. The strong wind gusts resulted in widespread structural damage to homes and businesses. As pets and animals are left homeless or stranded, the animal organizations tasked with caring for them are also grappling with their own cleanup efforts. Tractor Supply’s donation will assist with the cost of restoration as well as the purchase of pet food, animal feed and products such as beds, crates and cleaning supplies.

“Pets and animals are incredibly important to us at Tractor Supply, and they are often overlooked in the aftermath of a storm like Hurricane Laura,” said Christi Korzekwa, Tractor Supply’s Senior Vice President of Marketing. “With this donation, we hope to assist these organizations as they recover from the devastation of the storm and focus on their important work of caring for animals.”

Tractor Supply stores in the following affected communities have identified animal organizations to receive funds: Deridder, Leesville, Jena, Winnfield, Natchitoches, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Sulphur, Oakdale, Jennings, Crowley, Abbeville, New Iberia and Eunice in Louisiana; and Orange, Buna, Port Arthur, Beaumont, Jasper, and Woodville in Texas.

Hancock Whitney's community relief efforts have included 200-plus Hancock Whitney associate volunteers; 84,000 pounds of ice distributed; 25,000-plus hot meals for local people; all six area financial centers open to serve; and $400,000 in corporate humanitarian assistance.

With cash, critical supplies, and recovery teams staged and ready as Laura set sights on the region, Hancock Whitney hit the go-button on its relief efforts in local communities while the Category 4 storm was landing in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. Within 24 hours, a mobile financial center rolled up to the Ryan Street Lake Charles location to serve clients desperately needing cash. Forty-eight hours later, almost all Hancock Whitney ATMs in the area were working. In fewer than four days, five of the bank’s six storm-zone financial centers were back in business, including three Saturday banking sites in Lake Charles. By day five, all locations were open to help clients and the community.

Additionally, to date Hancock Whitney has handed out more than 84,000 pounds of ice; and more than 200 bank associates and countless client restaurants from across the Gulf South have served more than 25,000 hot meals to people needing food and, in some cases, just a friendly, compassionate face. To encourage can-do community resilience and unity in Laura’s aftermath, Hancock Whitney also gave away 500 American flags to local people visiting the Ryan Street financial center during the past two weeks.

Hancock Whitney’s investment thus far in corporate humanitarian assistance following Hurricane Laura tops $400,000, including donations to the United Way of Southwest Louisiana and Rebuilding Together Acadiana which total $50,000.

“Together with the people and communities we serve, Hancock Whitney has weathered some of the most infamous Gulf Coast storms—Rita, Wilma, Michael, Harvey, Katrina, Camille, Betsy, many before tropical systems had names—as well as historic floods from storms,” said Hancock Whitney CEO John M. Hairston. “Our associates know how to prepare and respond with the relief and caring people and communities need as they move forward from a crisis. Proactively helping clients, friends, and neighbors in our hometowns when they need us most comes from core values at the heart of who we are. More important, it’s simply the right thing to do.”

Hancock Whitney created a special Hurricane Laura web page providing timely information and resources for clients and residents in FEMA Designated Disaster Areas, including special disaster assistance loans, at [].

Hancock Whitney’s contributions to United Way of Southwest Louisiana (UWSWLA) and Rebuilding Together Acadiana will help those two organizations spearhead relief, recovery, and rebuilding assistance for people and places in Laura’s path.

“The communities working hard to recover from Hurricane Laura are our hometowns, the places where we live, work, and raise families. It’s ingrained in our region’s character and our Hancock Whitney culture to help however we can, including grass-roots relief efforts at ground zero,” said Hancock Whitney Southwest Louisiana Market President Jim McGough. “We also wanted to reach out with financial support for agencies we work with year-round which we felt could deliver the most assistance to the most people.”

UWSWLA will use Hancock Whitney’s $30,000 contribution to help people in the Lake Charles area meet immediate needs such as gas, groceries, pet food, and other essentials items.

“United Way of Southwest Louisiana is grateful for Hancock Whitney’s support of our Hurricane Laura relief efforts. We have been partners for many years because they care about this community,” said Denise Durel, United Way of Southwest Louisiana president and CEO. “This donation will support our organization’s work to meet immediate community needs like food and shelter and the many long-term needs that are vital for a true recovery from this disaster.”

Addressing more long-term needs, Rebuilding Together Acadiana will use the bank’s $20,000 donation to evaluate damages in local neighborhoods and coordinate building efforts enabling people to come back home to areas suffering the greatest destruction from Laura’s winds and waters.

“Our communities are resilient, and together we have helped people rebuild following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and subsequent floods,” said Executive Director for Rebuilding Together Acadiana Jodee Ware, “With the support of Hancock Whitney, we will work with the community to assess the damage and prepare to rebuild for our neighbors affected by Hurricane Laura.”

Westlake Chemical Corporation today announced that the company and the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation have contributed a combined $500,000 to the United Way of Southwest Louisiana’s Hurricane Laura Disaster Fund. The Hurricane Laura Disaster Fund was established to aid storm victims in the parishes surrounding the greater Lake Charles area.

“As a long-time member of the greater Lake Charles community, which is home to Westlake’s largest concentration of employees and where Westlake started with our first plant in 1986, we are saddened by the hundreds of thousands of residents in the area who have been affected by Hurricane Laura,” said Westlake President and CEO Albert Chao, who is also a board member of the charitable foundation established in 1999 by the Chao family. “However, this event has also demonstrated the admirable qualities of the people of the region – their desire to lend a helping hand. We are thankful for the support of organizations like the United Way in this time of great need.”

“We are truly amazed by the generosity of Westlake Chemical. During normal campaign seasons Westlake Chemical is one of our biggest community partners and their support is now amplified by this $500,000 donation towards our Hurricane Laura relief efforts,” said Denise Durel, United Way of Southwest Louisiana president and CEO. “This donation will support our organization’s work to meet immediate community needs like food and shelter and the many long-term needs that are vital for a true recovery from this disaster.”

In addition to this financial contribution, Westlake has been assisting its employees and their families, many of whom have suffered damage to their homes and are without power, and Westlake customers, employees and management around the world have donated to support their fellow employees in the greater Lake Charles area.

Shell Oil Company will contribute over $300,000 in donations from across its Louisiana lines of business to assist the relief and recovery efforts in Southwest Louisiana following Hurricane Laura.

Donations from Shell's Louisiana businesses includes:
· $40,000 donation to the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana
· $10,000 donation to the American Red Cross
· $25,000 donation to Second Harvest of Acadiana
· $50,000 donation to United Way of Southwest Louisiana
· $50,000 to stand up and deploy Shell volunteer clean up and rebuilding events
· $90,000 to provide shower stations and restroom trailers to hardest hit areas
· $10,000 to provide humanitarian supplies to hardest hit areas
· $35,000 to fund 2 activations of Shell volunteer cooking team to feed over 3,000 people in hardest hit areas

"Louisiana is one of the most critical regions areas Shell operates in globally. The state is home to all aspects of our business, ranging from retail gas stations, refining and chemical manufacturing, and remains the home and heartland of our Deepwater Gulf of Mexico exploration and production business," said Rhoman Hardy, Vice President, US Gulf Coast Manufacturing. Combined, these businesses directly employ more than 4,000 people, with another 4,000-plus Shell retirees calling Louisiana home. When one part of our state needs help, we respond, because this is our home too."

In addition to these contributions, Shell employees are also able to make donations to select non-profits in the region aimed at hurricane relief until September 15, through Shell's annual "Helping Everyone Reach Out" (HERO) program.

Goodwill Acadiana will donate 10 percent of all purchases made at their retail stores from Mon., Sept. 7 through Sat., Sept. 12. to Hurricane Laura survivors. Goodwill is partnering with Catholic Charities of Acadiana's Disaster Response Team in order to distribute the funds where needed. Anyone wishing to contribute to the disaster funds can visit any of Goodwill Acadiana's twelve retail or specialty stores throughout the six day period. Patrons may also contribute to the disaster relief fund via a monetary donation at any Goodwill retail store.

President and CEO Deacon Ed Boustany said, "We want to continue to build good relationships with other local nonprofits and knew that Catholic Charities would already have a good assessment of what resources were needed in the impacted areas. Our partnership allows for the pooling of our resources and creating a streamlined process to provide essentials to those most affected."

In addition to financial support for relief efforts, a heavily requested item needed by those in the storm's path is new tarps. Goodwill Acadiana put out an all-call to the entire Goodwill Industries International network requesting tarp donations from any Goodwill organization that had the ability to donate. If they are able to be located in the Acadiana area, brand-new tarps can be dropped off at any Goodwill Acadiana location including retail stores, donation centers, the Job Connection Center on Kaliste Saloom, and the corporate office. The tarps will be collected by Goodwill's team and transported to the appropriate locations.

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. and its employees are giving back care and aid to those impacted by Hurricane Laura that was offered to them during Hurricane Matthew in 2018. Executive VP/COO Ken Munroe said, “We all know very well the destruction that can be caused by hurricanes as we all lived it during Hurricane Michael. This is our time to return the favor to others who are suffering and to those people that helped us during our time of need.” Eastern and its employees have already loaded and shipped two truckloads of supplies to those in Southeast Louisiana and is looking to fill a third.

Chevron Corporation announced Friday, September 4, that it will donate a total of $500,000 and 8,000 gallons of fuel to assist those in Cameron and Calcasieu parishes affected by Hurricane Laura. The company is also coordinating employee supply drives, providing an additional $10,000 in gas gift cards, and matching employees’ charitable contributions.

To support the relief and recovery efforts following Hurricane Laura, Dollar General announced plans on Friday, September 4, to support the American Red Cross with a $50,000 corporate donation. The Company is also accepting in-store collections at more than 16,700 Dollar General stores now through September 11, 2020, to benefit the American Red Cross’s Hurricane Laura Relief efforts.

On Friday, Sept. 4, 7-Eleven Inc. will donate 3,200 cases of water, 3,200 bags of ice, snacks and hand sanitizer bottles to Lake Charles citizens affected by Hurricane Laura. FREE water, ice, snacks and hand sanitizer will be will be handed out starting at 1:00 pm at the 7-Eleven at 3201 Gerstner Memorial Drive in. Lake Charles. The items will be available while supplies last.

In order to help with the immediate response, recovery and rebuild from the impact of Hurricane Laura, Target is donating $750,000 to hurricane relief, including food banks in the area. Target’s donation will go toward organizations already mobilized in communities impacted by Laura to provide necessities like food, shelter and medicine to help those who are still without power and lacking basic infrastructure services like clean water.

The organizations include:

  • Target’s national disaster relief partners, the American Red Cross and Team Rubicon
  • The Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana
  • Food banks in some of the hardest hit areas, including,
    • Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont)
    • Second Harvest Greater New Orleans and Acadiana (Lafayette Branch)
    • Food Bank of Central Louisiana (Alexandria)
    • Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana (Shreveport)
    • Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana (Monroe)

In addition to helping the community, Target is also supporting its team members through its Emergency Assistance Fund, providing help to those who have sustained total house loss and general home damage. Target's store teams have also used Target GiftCards to help support local first responders and nonprofit organizations purchase needed supplies. Target stores in the region have all reopened. The company activated its hurricane preparedness and response plans in the wake of Hurricane Laura – prepping ahead of time to adjust for the impending storm and to account for changes needed due to the global pandemic. For instance, Target invested millions of additional dollars in hurricane supplies – pallets of water, batteries and flashlights—while continuing to account for coronavirus needs. For more on Target’s disaster preparedness plans, visit A Bullseye View.

The New Orleans Saints, Pelicans and the NFL Foundation announced today a $500,000 donation to provide relief to victims of Hurricane Laura, the most powerful storm to hit Louisiana in over 100 years. The Saints and Pelicans are working with three non-profits including Feeding Louisiana, Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana and the American Red Cross of Louisiana to actively support southwest Louisiana’s storm recovery efforts. In addition, the charitable proceeds of the New Orleans Saints virtual 50/50 Raffle from Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay (9/13) will be donated and divided among the three non-profits listed above.

"Since Hurricane Laura approached Southwest Louisiana, we have been very concerned about the safety and well-being of our neighbors to the west of us," says Saints Owner Gayle Benson. "While our thoughts and prayers are with those who are affected by this natural disaster, we also thank our first responders and volunteers for their tireless work, in helping the community begin the process of rebuilding and recovery. This campaign is a great opportunity for our fans to join our club in supporting three deserving non-profits that will play an integral role in the recovery of the area."

Next week, the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans will be launching a fundraiser to help raise funds for the three non-profits listed above. Fans that contribute to the fundraising campaign will have a chance at a unique opportunity to virtually participate with Saints players during the Sunday Night Football match-up against the Packers on September 27. More information on how to donate and the fundraiser will be announced at a later date.

UnitedHealthcare announced today it is donating $500,000 to the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana to help residents recover and rebuild following the devastating impact of Hurricane Laura.

“We are deeply concerned for the people affected by Hurricane Laura, and we are committed to helping the people in these local Louisiana communities recover and rebuild,” said Dirk McMahon, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare. “Many of these communities are also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, making this an especially challenging time for those who may have lost loved ones or been displaced as a result of the hurricane.”

“The devastation caused by Hurricane Laura affected thousands of people across parts of Louisiana,” said John Bel Edwards, Governor of Louisiana. “We are grateful for UnitedHealthcare’s commitment to the people of Louisiana and its support of the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana as we start to recover and rebuild from this hurricane.”

“We are grateful for UnitedHealthcare’s donation to our hurricane recovery work,” said Sara Judson, chief executive officer of the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana. “We’ll use the generous contribution to pay for immediate needs that are the first step of the long rebuilding process. We appreciate the outpouring of support we’ve received.”

The company has also taken steps to support health plan participants access care, early prescription refills, including the ability to conduct a Virtual Visit with a doctor* through the UnitedHealthcare smartphone app, and opened a free emotional-support help line to help people who might be affected. The Optum Helpline is free of charge to anyone in the community and is available toll-free at 866-342-6892, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company has also taken action to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its employees in affected areas, including supporting safe evacuations and providing recovery funding.

The ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery and distributor Lard Oil announced on Tuesday a combined donation of approximately 28,000 gallons of Synergy gasoline™ and Synergy Diesel Efficient ™ to support Hurricane Laura recovery efforts in the Lake Charles and Sulphur communities.

ExxonMobile says that the gasoline and diesel comes from the Baton Rouge refinery terminal, and Lard Oil will transport the fuel to the impacted areas for distribution to emergency responders.

“Leading up to Hurricane Laura and in the immediate aftermath of the storm, our Baton Rouge refinery and terminal continued to keep customers and communities across the region supplied with fuel,” said ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery Manager Gloria Moncada. “As soon as we learned of the need for fuel in Lake Charles and Sulphur, we made the commitment to help. I’m glad Lard Oil is joining with us to maximize this effort.”

“We are proud to join ExxonMobil in donating and transporting fuel to the first responders in Lake Charles and Sulphur,” said Lard Oil President and CEO Johnny Milazzo. “It’s an opportunity to give back to these communities where we live and serve.”

“We are grateful to ExxonMobil and Lard Oil for recognizing our community in this time of need. We are appreciative of your donation as we work to recover. We are staying strong, and our people are resilient,” said Sulphur Mayor Mike Danahay.

The fuel delivery process to Lake Charles and Sulphur emergency responders began on Sunday, Aug. 30, and will continue this week.

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