$18 million awarded to charities to help those affected by BP oil spill
By Martha Carr
New-Orleans based Catholic Charities is one of four nonprofits that will receive $18 million from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s “Future of the Gulf Fund” to assist with programs created help those affected by the BP oil spill, the foundation announced Wednesday. Catholic Charities’ Spirit of Hope Collaborative, a consortium of 16 nonprofits that helps disaster victims access mental-health and career counseling, will get the bulk of the money.
It plans to use its $15 million grant to serve residents suffering from traumatic stress and to create a pilot program to help residents to return to work, whether in the fishing industry or in new careers.
Other recipients include:
— The Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, which will receive $2 million to create a permanent triage and holding center for marine mammal and sea turtle emergencies.
— Louisiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, which will get $410,000 to put on a conference of disaster-relief nonprofits in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. Set for November in Jackson, Miss., the conference will offer the groups an opportunity to coordinate responses to future disasters.
— Single Stop USA, which will receive $594,000 for a program at Delgado Community College to help affected workers transfer to new careers.
“The oil spill ended a year ago, but the effects are still being felt all along the Gulf Coast,” said John Davies, the foundation’s chief executive officer. “The Future of the Gulf Fund will provide significant resources to some very worthwhile worker-training and environmental organizations that have been on the frontlines of relief ever since the spill began.”
Baton Rouge Area Foundation established the Future of the Gulf Fund with a $75 million transfer from the Gulf Coast Restoration and Protection Fund, which was established by a $100 million donation from BP in 2010 to financially assist oil rig workers affected by the spill.
The Future of the Gulf Fund’s mission is to help people, wildlife and the environment along the Gulf Coast. The fund will continue making grants to nonprofit groups over the next three years.