One Houston United raises $3.1 million to aid Houstonians still recovering from tropical storm Allison

The board of trustees of The United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast announced last week that $3.1 million raised through the One Houston United Campaign will fund 14 programs to help the most at-risk Allison victims rebuild and furnish homes that were damaged in what is being called the flood of the century. Of the $3.1 million, more than $1.5 million was raised on January 26 through the One Houston United Telethon, the first telethon of its kind in Houston. Additional funds were contributed by area congregations, foundations, corporations and individuals. More than $230,000 was raised through Second Collections from area congregations and religious organizations.

The monies raised are being used by area nonprofits best equipped to help flood victims in the following key areas: repair homes (replace sheetrock, repair flooring, restore cabinets, cover cost of construction materials), secure basic household necessities (mattresses, stoves, refrigerators) and provide case management and related services to guide victims through the recovery process. The neediest cases are being targeted, including the elderly, disabled, and low-income families with young children. Services will be provided through 14 programs run by eight non-profit organizations including the American Red Cross, Associated Catholic Charities, Disaster Recovery, 5 Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation, the Houston Area Urban League, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Lutheran Social Services and Target Hunger. Some of the funds will be used for case management, which means helping a victim navigate the recovery process, and for social services.

“This has been an extraordinary campaign, with much to consider. Our goal for the One Houston United Campaign is $4 million,” states Jackie Martin, President of the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast. “As the campaign has developed, we’ve received requests for over $8 million from area agencies planning to rebuild homes and assist flood victims. Today, we have $3.1 million to put back in the community. I think this confirms what we’ve known since the day after the flood. It is going to take years for everyone to recover. We are hopeful that additional contributions will be made to assist the effort.”

Fred Fowler, Group President Energy Transmission, Duke Energy, adds, “Though our corporation was quick to respond after the flood waters receded, it soon became clear that a more organized approach would ensure that those in the greatest need were helped. One Houston United seemed a logical approach to that goal.”

Terry Koonce, President, ExxonMobil Production Company says, “Since many Houstonians were still feeling the affects of Tropical Storm Allison, we realized that it would take a massive effort to bring their problems before the public and to encourage an outpouring of finannancial means to cover it. That is what makes me feel good – to see how they can get around to help so many people,” adds Mable.

One Houston United was generously underwritten by six presenting sponsors: Duke Energy, ExxonMobil, Shell, Anadarko Petroleum, Compaq and Williams. The One Houston United Telethon was hosted by Clint Black, and aired on five Houston television stations: KPRC Channel 2, KHOU-TV Channel 11, KTRK Channel 13, KHWB Channel 39 and KTMD Channel 48, with major support provided by the
Houston Chronicle.

Agencies will help the most at-risk flood victims rebuild their homes, acquire basic furniture and household items, and offer support through case management. Services will begin immediately. Houston has a national reputation as one of the most caring and generous cities in America. The success of One Houston United is the latest example of this longstanding tradition.