(Shreveport, LA) – United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA) received $3,000 from Zion Baptist Church to provide disaster relief to those affected by Hurricane Ida. The contribution will be allocated to the United for NWLA Fund, UWNWLA’s emergency response fund for people who have been affected by natural disasters and statewide emergencies.

UWNWLA initially launched the United for NWLA Fund in 2020 to assist families and individuals impacted financially by the effects of COVID-19. The fund later expanded to provide assistance to families displaced to Northwest Louisiana due to Hurricane Laura. Donations to the United for NWLA Fund will now be used to support Hurricane Ida evacuees sheltering in Northwest Louisiana. Any unused funds will be donated to United Ways in South Louisiana to help support their long-term disaster relief efforts.

“I saw the devastation on television, and I have friends that are parishioners that are now members of Zion that never did go back to New Orleans. They’re still here, and we just had to do something,” said Zion Baptist Church Pastor, Brady L. Blade. “So, we decided to begin with the $3,000 donation but come October 1, if it is still doing what it’s doing now, we’re going to repeat it.”

Last week, hundreds of evacuees with specialized medical needs from South Louisiana traveled to Northwest Louisiana to stay at the Special Needs & Medical Shelter at the Bossier Civic Center. This shelter is currently holding 130 evacuees with medical needs, nursing home patients, and senior citizens. The general population shelter on Jewella Avenue is holding nearly 1,000 evacuees that include nursing home patients, senior citizens, drive-up evacuees, and evacuees that were bussed to the shelter. Today, evacuees at the Jewella shelter have started to be transported back to south Louisiana. However, donations items are still needed for evacuees at the Bossier Civic Center.

“We are so grateful for Zion Baptist Church’s generosity,” said LaToria Thomas, UWNWLA Vice President of Community Investments & Operations. “Thanks to their assistance, we will be able to address the needs of Hurricane Ida evacuees and help get them back on the path to stability.”

To make a contribution to the United for NWLA Fund and learn more about how you can help Hurricane Ida evacuees, please visit unitedwaynwla.org.