Williamson’s Notes: 365 Days of Ida

August 29. A date in Louisiana’s history that holds so much devastation and heartache for its people. Hurricanes Katrina and Ida walloped the state 16 years apart to the day and forever altered the prosperity of our communities. 

A year ago, Hurricane Ida moved out, and donors and volunteers jumped in alongside United Way of Southeast Louisiana to aid vulnerable households with immediate relief. Generous contributions from near and far allowed us to bring aid into the hardest hit communities through our relief pop-ups in the days and weeks following the storm, and we sourced gift cards from across the country to help families with urgent needs like gas, food, and prescriptions. 

United Way spent months in immediate response mode as families across the region needed assistance kick-starting their lives in the wake of the storm. And while we’ve switched to long-term recovery, the truth is, countless families are still searching for relief as they struggle to pull through.  

We committed early in the process $1 million to the area’s long-term recovery tables, which bring together community partners to address the unmet needs of affected households (see the list of area partners here). The onslaught of natural disasters nationwide, a growing contractor shortage, and a drop in boots-on-the-ground volunteers made progress slow to start. But 365 days later, those tables are beginning the case management of rebuilding projects for families like Emma’s

So as we mark the anniversary of Ida and Katrina, I want to assure you United Way’s commitment to the region’s long-term recovery is as strong as it’s ever been, and I look forward to providing rebuilding updates through the tables as more families receive assistance. 

In short, we are endlessly grateful to the partners, donors, volunteers, and staff for helping us rebuild and reimagine a stronger, more equitable Southeast Louisiana for us all. 

Living United, 

Michael Williamson, President and CEO

Michael Williamson
President & CEO
United Way of Southeast Louisiana

P.S. Please call 211 or review this flyer if you or someone you know needs long-term rebuilding assistance in Jefferson, Plaquemines, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, or Washington parishes. The long-term recovery tables are here to help!

Return to United Way SELA's Ida Response Page