Salvation Army Receives $10 Million Grant for Hurricane Katrina Relief

A private foundation that supports the causes of religion, education, and community development has provided a $10 million gift to the Salvation Army to assist with on-going relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The funds provided by the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. are the largest single gift to the Salvation Army designated for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

“We are so grateful to the Lilly Endowment for their generous donation at such a critical time of response for the victims of this disaster,” said Salvation Army National Commander Todd W. Bassett, in a announcement released today. “At times like these, financial donations are always a vital need, and can be put to use much more directly and effectively."

N. Clay Robbins, president of the Lilly Endowment, said the foundation was “pleased to make this grant to the Salvation Army, which time and time again has effectively delivered aid in times of great need.”

“Our prayers go with them,” Robbins said.

In the wake of what is being called one of the worst national disasters in U.S. history, the Salvation Army has launched one of the largest emergency disaster services relief efforts in the organization’s 125 year history. Currently, more than 250 Salvation Army volunteers, employees and officers (ministers) are providing aid from more than 100 mobile canteens and two 54-foot mobile Base Camp kitchens capable of serving more than half a million meals per day.

However, Reuters reported Friday that the Salvation Army was running out of food and supplies to help survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and fears "donor fatigue" could put relief efforts at risk.

"We are running out of food, running out of supplies, and are finding it extremely difficult to find food and supplies," Salvation Army spokesman Major George Hood told Reuters from Jackson, Miss.

"I don't know how many more days of supplies we have, but it's running out quickly, and the infrastructure is so strangled right now that it's going to be difficult to get fresh supplies in here," he said.

The Salvation Army is asking people who want to help to visit or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

“Monetary donations are encouraged at this time to help meet victims’ most immediate needs,” the organization stated.

It noted that a $100 donation would feed a family of four for two days, provide two cases of drinking water and one household clean-up kit, containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies.

In announcing the $10 million gift from the Lilly Endowment, Bassett emphasized that all financial donations to the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief operation would quickly be used for the purchase of specific items needed by the thousands of families affected by the storm.

The Salvation Army also noted that one hundred percent of every dollar contributed to the its Emergency Disaster Relief Fund is sent directly to the disaster location.