14 Major Non-Profit Organizations Met in New Orleans to Reaffirm Commitment to Human Needs Aspect of Gulf Coast Recovery

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14 Major Non-Profit Organizations Met in New Orleans to Reaffirm Commitment to Human Needs Aspect of Gulf Coast Recovery

New Orleans, LA (Jan. 6, 2006) - Fourteen of the nation's largest, best-known and most respected non-profit, human services organizations gathered in New Orleans today to reaffirm their collective commitment to focus on the human side of rebuilding lives in the Gulf Coast area.

Much has been said about rebuilding structures, homes and businesses in the Gulf Coast area. But in order to rebuild a better state of human existence, these fourteen organizations want to use their collective influence to ensure human needs are not forgotten. "We remain committed to ensuring the viability of neighborhoods; providing for the development and education of children; and encouraging the self-sufficiency of the citizens of the area," says Brian Gallagher of United Way of America.

In order to keep the focus on human needs during the long Gulf Coast recovery and rebuilding progress, the group will undertake a listening initiative to aggressively engage people, understand their needs and take those messages to those who can most effect change. This effort will begin in the first quarter of 2006 and include visits to communities throughout the affected areas.

The organizations also call upon the Administration and Congress to approve $10 billion over the next five years for rebuilding strategies that emphasize human needs. Each of these organizations individually has already devoted substantial resources to address the human needs of those affected in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricane destruction -- and will continue to do so - but the scope of need requires that government at all levels be a critical partner.

The 14 organizations - a subset of a coalition of non-profit groups known as "Leadership 18" - strongly believe in putting people first. These established charities have long been - and will continue to be - on the ground facing problems, helping people and strengthening communities throughout the nation. Their work is vital to the safety, health, well-being and social and economic development of a diverse population. Together, they help shape the lives, neighborhoods, and future of millions of Americans from coast to coast.

During the devastating 2005 hurricane season, these groups, along with many others, have worked hand-in-hand in the hardest hit states of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, as well as in Texas, Florida and other areas that suffered damage and welcomed evacuees who needed basic necessities and even new lives and livelihoods.

At a press briefing in New Orleans today, the following representatives shared additional details about this Gulf Coast initiative and the groups' collaboration:

  • Brian Gallagher, President and CEO, United Way of America
  • Cynthia Wainscott, Acting President and CEO, National Mental Health Association
  • Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League
  • Commissioner Todd Bassett, National Commander, The Salvation Army

The Leadership 18 member organizations participating in this Gulf Coast initiative include:

  1. Alliance for Children and Families
  2. American Cancer Society
  3. Boy Scouts of America
  4. Camp Fire USA
  5. Catholic Charities USA
  6. Girls Incorporated
  7. Goodwill Industries International, Inc.
  8. Lutheran Services in America
  9. National Mental Health Association, Inc.
  10. National Urban League, Inc.
  11. The Salvation Army
  12. United Way of America
  13. YMCA of the USA
  14. YWCA USA

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