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Location: Houston, Texas, United States

My name is David Stone. I live in Houston, Texas. I am a 30-something single white male. I am an Orthodox Christian and am a member of an English-language parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Houston Katrina Relief Fund



September 7, 2005


Money to help local governments meet the challenge

The greater Houston community has become a beacon of hope in the relief effort to provide emergency assistance for those evacuated from Louisiana and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Over 150,000 people have come to our community seeking the basic necessities of life -- food, shelter, clothing and medical care. The Houston community has risen to the challenge and has done an exemplary job responding to this crisis to date.

In order to respond to the needs of the evacuees on a real-time basis and to begin transitioning people out of the shelters, our community must have access to significant financial resources that are controlled and distributed at the local level. Consequently, Mayor Bill White and Harris County Judge Robert Eckels recruited the “Houston Katrina Relief Fund,” an IRC 501(c)(3) charitable organization modeled after the 9/11 Fund.

“We’re proud of the way local government has responded to the crisis,” said Mayor White. “We’re managing the effort efficiently and compassionately, and we welcome the generosity of so many who have offered to help.”

The Fund has been established to receive contributions for Houston Katrina relief from all over the country and abroad. The Fund is not intended to take away from the efforts or resources of existing public and non-profit organizations, including the annual United Way campaign, which will be launched Sept. 9. As opposed to other relief efforts, the Houston Katrina Relief Fund will be used solely to support the relief efforts in the greater Houston community. Strict financial and accounting controls will be implemented to ensure accountability.

The Fund will be governed by a 17-member board of directors comprised of a diverse group of business and civic leaders and will be chaired by Charles Miller, former Chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership and the University of Texas Board of Directors.

Other members of the board include Gene Locke, partner of Andrews and Kurth; Naomi Warren, local philanthropist and Holocaust survivor; Jane Page, Regional President of Crescent Real Estate; Tom Castro, Chairman of El Dorado Communications; and Don Wang, Chairman of METRO Bank.

According to Terry Koonce, recently retired President of Exxon Mobil Production Co., who will serve as acting President: “We will be low overhead and simply provide a means for financial support of existing public and private relief organizations, and have used a diverse group of volunteers rather than paid staff whenever possible to ensure all money goes directly to service providers.”

A bank account has been established at Wells Fargo Bank to accept donations at the following address:

Houston Katrina Relief Fund
P.O. Box 4995
Houston, Texas 77210-4995

Additionally, a website, www.houstonkatrinarelieffund.org, has been established that will be able to accept donations immediately.


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