In the wake of the pummeling of Hurricane Ida, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation pledged to give $1 million to the American Red Cross and the Greater New Orleans Foundation. The two equal donations are meant to assist the victims of the devastating Category 4 storm and its aftermath.
Even after it was downgraded from a hurricane, the storm cut a path up to the Northeast, flooding parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. Dozens of people were killed, and hundreds of homes were shattered by the historic storm.
The Blank Family Foundation financial commitments were made after Ida hit the Southeast and even before it struck the Northeast. A spokeswoman said the foundation didn’t plan to make additional donations to the Northeast, “but the grant to the Red Cross is flexible to be used in the geographies where it’s needed the most.”
Foundation President Fay Twersky attributed the donations to Arthur Blank’s Jewish values. “Arthur’s mother, Molly Blank, taught him the importance of tzedakah, of giving to those in need,” she said. “This donation for hurricane relief, and everything Arthur and his family do through the foundation, reflects their core value to give back to their community and support their neighbors.”
In a statement released by the Foundation, Blank noted that “this storm’s impact on many people and communities will be felt for some time and that includes many of our family, friends and associates across our portfolio of businesses and foundation who have personal connections to the Gulf Coast.” He noted that the Louisiana area was already impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic which also has overwhelmed first responders.
“We are in a time of crisis, and we’re so grateful for the first responders, health care workers and other public servants who are already going above and beyond. We hope to play a small part in helping those communities recover by supporting two organizations providing relief on the ground. We encourage others to join the effort to lift those impacted by this storm,” Blank added. “At times like these, I hope we can set aside the things that divide us in a spirit of unity to help others suffering through a crisis simply because it’s the right thing to do.”
The Blank Family Foundation was established in 1995. Blank, chairman of the foundation, co-founded The Home Depot home improvement retailer in 1978. Through the foundation and his family’s personal giving, Blank has granted more than $800 million to various charitable organizations.
- Jan Jaben-Eilon
- Arthur Blank
- Hurricane Ida
- New Orleans
- Fay Twersky
- Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
- American Red Cross
- Greater New Orleans Foundation
- Category 4 storm
- New Jersey
- New York
- Molly Blank
- hurricane relief
- Gulf Coast
- COVID-19 pandemic
- first responders
- health care workers
- public servants
- The Home Depot