GP helps those who help others

Published 11:47 am Wednesday, December 6, 2017

By David Ball

The Orange Leader


BEAUMONT — United Way of Orange County is one of several non-profits to receive grant from Golden Pass Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund

A check donation was made Tuesday morning to nonprofit organizations at the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission in Beaumont as part of the first round of grants from the $1.5 million Golden Pass Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund, according to a press release from the Foundation for Southeast Texas.

The fund will provide $1,164,035 to 10 local projects to support hurricane relief and mitigation efforts in our region.

“This award marks a significant milestone on the road to recovery for Southeast Texas after our area was devastated by flooding. We want to thank everyone who applied for their interest and the critical work they are doing to benefit our community,” Mellie Bevilacqua, executive director of the Foundation for Southeast Texas, said.

The Foundation for Southeast Texas is awarding $1,164,035 to 10 projects including:

  • The Port Arthur Education Foundation will receive $122,800 to replace materials and resources lost during Hurricane Harvey for Adams Elementary school students. The foundation will provide phonics, spelling and math kits, and workbooks for more than 600 students and 70 teachers.
  • The Port Arthur Education Foundation will receive $148,470 to replace textbooks lost and destroyed during Hurricane Harvey for 245 students at Lamar State College Port Arthur.
  • The Port Arthur Education Foundation will also receive $66,984 to replace educational and recreational equipment, uniforms, books computers and furniture lost during Hurricane Harvey for 260 students in the Sabine Pass ISD.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Jefferson County will receive $50,000 to repair and replace multiple Habitat homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey, part of a recovery effort that will affect around 68 homes.
  • The United Way of Orange County will receive $50,000 to provide home repairs for Orange County residents. The organization will purchase drywall, insulation and other supplies needed to repair and construct damaged homes.
  • The Salvation Army of Port Arthur will receive $50,000 to rebuild its public shelter, storage building and chapel that serve Jefferson County residents.

Family Services of Southeast Texas will receive $65,781 to repair flooring damage to the Beaumont Women’s and Children’s Shelter caused by Hurricane Harvey.

  • Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas will receive $60,000 to support Port Arthur families impacted by Hurricane Harvey and facilitate home repairs.
  • United Board of Missions will receive $50,000 to provide mattresses, furniture and appliances to Port Arthur and Sabine Pass residents impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
  • The 100 Club of Southeast Texas will receive $500,000 to support 500 first responders in Jefferson, Orange, and Hardin Counties who experienced property loss due to Hurricane Harvey.

“It’s always been important for us to give back to our community, and that took on new meaning in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. We want to do our part to restore a strong Southeast Texas for our employees and our neighbors,” Robert Bilnoski, Golden Pass LNG Vice President of Human Resources and Public Affairs, said.

He added that they knew they had to step up following Harvey because there are so many widespread needs.

“We hit as many (5013c) organizations as we could for the grant cycle the first time,” Bilnoski said.

The awards are the first of two cycles of funding provided to support nonprofit and governmental organizations engaged in hurricane recovery and mitigation efforts in Jefferson, Orange and Hardin Counties. Another funding cycle will open to applications in early 2018.

Projects providing support in disaster mitigation infrastructure, school materials reimbursement, first responder disaster assistance (including non-official responders), hurricane-damaged housing rehabilitation and public employee disaster assistance will be the emphasis for funding. Priority will be given to projects directly benefitting Port Arthur and Sabine Pass.