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'Embrace Louisiana" Launches Ida Relief Efforts With NELA United Way

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United Way of Northeast Louisiana
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United Way of Northeast Louisiana has launched a disaster relief project called “Embrace Louisiana,” including a relief fund, goods drive, and other emergent needs to assist Hurricane Ida evacuees.

“Our Embrace Louisiana Fund is made possible through the generous contributions of individuals and corporations over and above the vital dollars that are already being given,” said Janet Durden, president of United Way of Northeast Louisiana. “Products and goods will be collected to help meet the basic needs of Hurricane Ida evacuees here in our region.”

Products and goods will be collected to help meet the basic needs of Hurricane Ida evacuees here in our region. -- Janet Durden, United Way of NELA

All funds received will be used to meet the basic needs of Ida evacuees sheltering in Northeast Louisiana, and any unused funds will be donated to United Ways in south Louisiana and those affected by the storm. According to Durden, no portion of contributions will be used for overhead or administration, and all donations are tax deductible.

Donations to the Embrace Louisiana Fund may be given by texting EMBRACELA to 91999, giving online at unitedwaynela.org/embracela, or by mailing a check or money order to United Way of Northeast Louisiana at 1201 Hudson Lane, Monroe, LA 71201. Donors are asked to indicate a donation to the Embrace Louisiana Fund in the memo of checks or money orders.

Currently, the requested items for the Embrace Louisiana goods drive include:

  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Trash bags
  • Coffee
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Cups

Goods donations can be dropped off at United Way of Northeast Louisiana’s office location, 1201 Hudson Lane in Monroe, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Needs of evacuees will be monitored daily and ongoing plans for the collection of goods will be announced on social media. Residents can also call 211 for more information.
"I am deeply grateful for the incredible generosity of this community," said Durden. “Our mission at United Way of Northeast Louisiana is to help people and improve community, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do for our friends and neighbors across Louisiana.”

United Way of Northeast Louisiana is also encouraging residents to dial 211 to access up-to-date information and available recovery services from local partners and government agencies in their respective parishes. A free call to 211 will connect residents to a specialist who will help pinpoint critical aid available locally.

Jay calls himself a "media producer" in a world of diversification. Jay earned a Bachelor of Arts in Radio/TV/Film Production from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and worked in video, feature film and television production for over 10 years before joining KEDM full time.