Hurricane Ida: United Way Makes First Fund Distributions to Meet Urgent Needs


United Way makes first fund distributions to meet urgent needs, opens public material donation sites

New Orleans Saints players join WWL-TV in calls for additional support, outline funding strategy for continued Ida relief

NEW ORLEANS – United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) released today its Hurricane Ida Relief Fund distribution strategy, which includes immediate funding to help meet the most urgent basic needs of residents throughout Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes. 

UWSELA, in coordination with local leaders, will release $350,000 in funds, $50,000 per parish, to help support trusted relief organizations and secure water, food, ice, tarps, mitigation supplies and more. 

“Conditions are rapidly deteriorating throughout our community as basic needs go unmet, but the outpouring of financial support to our fund is allowing us to respond at the speed of need,” said Michael Williamson, UWSELA president and CEO. “We’ve been in communication with parish leaders and told them in no uncertain terms: Tell us what your residents need now, and we will deliver.”

To help increase UWSELA’s fundraising momentum, Saints captains and players – including Demario Davis, Cam Jordan, Jameis Winston, Alvin Kamara, Terron Armstead and Malcolm Jenkins – joined with WWL-TV Channel 4 to amplify community needs and ways to engage in relief, response and rebuilding efforts.

Davis, Saints All-Pro linebacker, said, “I want to make sure help is available for those that need it, so I’ll be working with United Way of Southeast Louisiana because I know they always make sure the families that need the help the most get it,” and added three ways the public can help someone today: Give. Volunteer. Donate.

  1. Give?: Make a gift to United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Hurricane Ida Relief Fund to support local immediate relief efforts and long-term recovery.  
  2. Volunteer?: Help our neighbors in need by volunteering your time. Receiving and organizing roles will be posted on Saturday, Sept. 4. Opportunities will be updated as needs arise. (e.g., in-kind donation management, supply giveaways, evacuation support)  
  3. Donate?: Your in-kind material donations will help vulnerable families access basic necessities. Northshore and Southshore drop-off locations to be announced on Saturday, Sept. 4, along with requested supplies. (e.g., water, toiletries, cleaning supplies - NO CLOTHING OR FOOD)  

UWSELA will continue to release updates on fund distribution, targeting boots-on-the-ground needs for both supplies and volunteerism, in the coming days. 

“The WWL-TV family is committed to Southeast Louisiana and its people. When one of our communities hurts, we all do, and we all feel committed to helping in any way we can,” said Tod Smith, TEGNA Media, WWL-TV president and general manager and UWSELA Board of Trustees chair. “We’ve chosen to partner with United Way of Southeast Louisiana and members of the New Orleans Saints to help meet the needs of our neighbors impacted by Hurricane Ida. I personally know the value of a helping hand and have seen how we all come together when our neighbors and friends need us most.

Make a gift online today and review UWSELA’s full Hurricane Ida Relief Fund distribution strategy at

“Why wouldn’t I help my brother if I see him fall down? Why wouldn’t I help my neighbor if they do need help? Why wouldn’t I help my community when I know that I can,” implored Saints defensive end and 6x NFL Pro Bowler Cam Jordan. “In our opportunities to do more, and our abilities to strive to be better, why not help?”


About United Way of Southeast Louisiana
For almost 100 years, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) has been a leader and trusted partner in improving lives and making a lasting difference. We fight to eradicate poverty by preparing people for quality jobs, growing incomes, and affording better health and education opportunities throughout Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes. We have a bold vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and financially stable – and we have a plan. United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Blueprint for Prosperity guides all strategic investments in programs, initiatives, collaborations, volunteerism, and advocacy aimed at tackling poverty. For more information, please visit Find us on social: @UnitedWaySELA.