Monday, September 5th, 2005

Cynopsis – Hurricane Katrina Relief Funds


Good morning.  It’s Tuesday, September 6, 2005, and this a Special Edition of Cynopsis dedicated entirely to the relief fund efforts of Hurricane Katrina. This issue is designed to provide you with a wide variety of places accepting donations, both national and local organizations, and what different companies in our industry are doing to reach out.  There is also a list of informational websites to help locate family members and friends across the Gulf Coast states.  I have checked out nearly every link here and belief them all to be bonafide, though that is left to your final discretion.

A few facts at this writing from AP, national television news, and local news websites in affected areas:

  • Levies in New Orleans have been closed and the city begins to drain – tho that process is expected to take more than a month
  • President Bush ordered 7,200 more soldiers and Marines to the Gulf Coast to carry out federal relief efforts. An extra 10,000 National Guard troops were being sent as well, raising the number of Guard personnel in the stricken states to about 40,000.
  • The Labor Department announced an emergency grant of up to $62 million will provide jobs to dislocated workers in the parts of Louisiana devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The grant is expected to provide as many as 10,000 temporary jobs.
  • Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said the Coast Guard has rescued 9,500 people in Gulf Coast states ravaged by the hurricane and 100,000 people have received humanitarian aid.
  • Thousands of people were at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Fewer than 200 remained in a medical triage unit where officials said 3,000 to 5,000 people had been treated since the storm began.
  • National Guard Lt. Col. Jerry Crooks said troops had served more than 70,000 meals outside the convention center and had 130,000 more on hand.
  • Carnival Cruise Lines is sending three ships to hold 7,000 evacuees.
  • Some local area hospitals are still in dire straits, with evacuations continuing slowly.

National Organizations accepting Donations:

Local Help Organizations accepting Donations:

Local Houston organizations accepting donations:

  • Houston Intown Chamber of Commerce, 3015 Richmond Ave., 77098, (713) 524-8000
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 2403 Holcombe Blvd., (713) 741-8234
  • Houston-Area Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals, 900 Portway Drive, SPCA Emergency Pet Hot Line: (713) 802-0555
  • Lakewood Church, 3700 Southwest Freeway, Accepting donations Sept. 1 and 2, (713) 635-4154
  • Impact Houston Church of Christ, 1704 Weber, (832) 641-5900
  • Houston Food Bank, 3811 Eastex Freeway, Houston 77026, 713-223-8700
  • Evacuees at the Astrodome can receive mail at this address: Evacuee’s Name, General Delivery, Houston, TX 77230. Make sure to include the evacuee’s name.

Local New Orleans and Louisiana organizations accepting donations:

Local Biloxi and Mississippi organizations accepting donations:

  • United Synagogue of Conservative Judasim
  • NAACP Disaster Relief Command Center accepts donations. Checks can be made out to the NAACP Disaster Relief Fund and mailed to the following address: NAACP Disaster Relief Fund, 4805 Mt. Hope Drive, Baltimore, MD 21215. For more information about the relief fund, call: 1-866-997-2227.
  • Birmingham American Red Cross. Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex shelter residents need pre-paid telephone calling cards. Drop off at the BJCC, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Birmingham or mail to headquarters at 950 22nd St. North, Suite 750, Birmingham, AL, 35203.

Finding Lost Relatives:

Efforts from those in our entertainment industry:

  • Cynopsis is working with Good Bears of the World, providing teddy bears to the smallest victims of Hurricane Katrina who are in need of mental aid as well as physical aid.  Cynopsis readers can go to to donate.  Be sure to click on Cynopsis in the drop down menu asking Where Did You Hear About Us?, that way, all monies received from you and me will be logged in a special Cynopsis account.  Each time enough money is raised to buy a case of teddy bears (24 bears, $146 per case), Good Bears of the World will match with an additional case.  This is a great organization who has worked during national disasters before including 9/11. They will be sending bears to all the shelters in the affected areas and neighboring states where evacuees are being housed.
  • Friday at 8p, ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The WB, UPN and PBS will join forces to air ?Shelter from the Storm:  A Concert for the Gulf Coast” to raise funds, airing commercial free. Joel Gallen, who produced ?America: A Tribute to Heroes? telethon in September 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, will exec prod.   Means and method for donation, as well as additional information regarding those taking part in the special, will be announced at a later date.
  • All A&E Television Networks are assisting school districts affected by Katrina, by spearheading an educational outreach program.
  • Regional news channel Bay News 9 in Tampa Bay, FL is partnering with Bright House Networks, Infinity Broadcasting and the American Red Cross to raise funds for hurricane disaster relief.
  • Aids Alliance for Children, Youth & Families has established the Katrina AIDS Alliance Emergency Fund to assist those programs throughout southern Louisiana and Mississippi.  Donations can be sent to: AIDS Alliance/Katrina Fund, 1600 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington DC 20006.
  • Belo Corp. & Belo Foundation created the WWL-TV Employee Relief Fund, where 100% of all donations will go to WWL employees affected
  • BET will air a telethon on Friday, September 9, 7:30 – 10 pm ET (taped-delayed to the West Coast, and pledge phone lines will remain open), to be preceded by a special benefit episode of 106 & Park: BET’s Top 10 Live.  Telethon partners include the National Urban League, American Red Cross, Hip Hop Summit Action Network Chairman Russell Simmons, Kevin Liles and the Warner Music Group, and Essence Communications.
  • Cable One has set up a crisis team to work on getting basic supplies to Cable One employees and their families in the Gulf Coast, and is looking ahead to providing temporary housing and financial assistance.  All employees are still being paid and will have jobs to return to when it is safe to do so.  The team is keeping a master list of the status of associates in the affected region. Cable One will make a major donation to a relief organization to help the entire Gulf Coast community. Parent company The Washington Post Company is establishing a tax-free charitable fund, called the Community Fund, to aid impacted employees.  The company will also match all employee contributions.
  • Comcast Corporation and the Comcast Foundation is coordinating an internal campaign to purchase gift cards from Wal-mart, Target, Home Depot and Lowe’s for employees in the affected areas.  Systems have also been sending ice, food and water to affected employees and their communities. 
  • Cox Communications has set up the Cox Employee Disaster Relief Fund, 6205 Peachtree Dunwoody Road., Atlanta, GA 30328, attn: Leigh Ann Launius.
  • DirecTV has launched a dedicated channel (Channel 100) where viewers can email text messages that will be displayed on the channel in an effort to help reunite families and friends. Messages can be sent to
    or via cellphone to text code 48433. Other information includes road closures, location, and phone numbers of shelters, and shelter-opening notices. The channel will also be distributed to the shelters
  • A fund has been set up for the staffers of the local newspaper, called Friends of the Times-Picayune newspaper, many of whom like other residents of the area, have lost their homes. If you’d like to contribute, please make  checks payable to Sterling Bank, Account #151027625. Mail to Sterling Bank, Bayou Bend Office, 5757 Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77007-8000.
  • Insight Communications is reopening the Insight New York Relief Fund for donations to assist those affected by Katrina.  Employee contributions are tax-deductible, and Insight will match all employee contributions.  Employees can contribute by check or payroll deduction, through December 23, 2005.  Insight will distribute the contributions to relief organizations based on how effective the organizations are in minimizing administrative costs and how quickly they can assist those in need.
  • Inspirations Networks has a partnership with Convoy of Hope, a disaster relief organization based in Springfield, MO.  Convoy of Hope brings trucks loaded with water, ice, food and other supplies to areas affected by disaster.  Three trucks arrived in Louisiana and Mississippi on Sunday, August 28, with an additional twenty-two scheduled to arrive during this week.  The most immediate need for Convoy of Hope is cash and corporate sponsorship.  It costs $6,000 to fill a relief truck.  Donations can be made corporately and individually, and are tax-deductible.  Credit card donations can be made at  For any company that donates $3,000, INSP will donate the other $3,000 to supply a truck. Inspiration Networks is also airing a Concert of Hope special on all of its networks to raise funds for the INSP/Convoy of Hope effort, and has cross-channel spots that can be run on networks and systems.
  • Motorola is providing equipment and technical support to meet critical communications needs in the affected areas.  Three emergency communications trailers have been delivered, in addition to other technical supplies.
  • MTV, VH1 and CMT will simulcast a multi-artist, multi-genre, multi-platform live performance special, ReAct Now: Music & Relief on Saturday, September 10, which will seek to raise funds for the American Red Cross and similar relief organizations.  MTV2, mtvU, VH1 Classic, and broadband video networks MTV Overdrive and VSpot will also simulcast the special.  Country, pop, rock and hip hop artists will perform from New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Nashville.  Additionally, mtvU will partner with its nearly 7 million college students and collegiate organizations and Urban Outfitters to mobilize clothing drives, donations and volunteer relief efforts; mtvU will air special features from the affected universities and highlight the relief work of students unable to return to their schools.
  • The National Association of Broadcasters is rolling out its $100 million hurricane relief effort with “Broadcast Unity for Katrina Relief”, where radio and television stations are asked to dedicate a minimum of 60-seconds at the top of each hour to air a fundraising message, and consider radiothons, telethons and phone banks to generate money for Hurricane Katrina relief. The NAB has designed this Friday, September 9 as Broadcast Unity Day and is working with the American Red Cross with its donations.
  • NATPE’s blog Penthouse 10 as a place for information on multiple ways to help and also for comments of support to the folks affected. and also at
  • Nielsen Media in Chicago is working with the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana who are in need of money, feeding thousands of people from New Orleans.  Also need personal hygiene items such as deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, tampons and pads, razors etc. We are also accepting donations of clothing as well.  Checks can be made out to the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana, 2307 Texas Ave, Shreveport, LA 71103
  • The Toy Industry Foundation has launched The Toy Bank to bring toys to charities that serve children in need, and has selected Gifts In Kind International as the link between donor companies and recipient charities. For donation forms and questions, contact Gifts in Kind International at (703) 836-2121 or the Toy Industry Foundation at (212) 675-1141.
  • Tribune created the WGNO/WNOL Emergency Fund for employees, where again 100% of all donations will go to employees affected
  • Urban Gospel Alliance (UGA) has aligned with, who recently established an emergency fund for victims of Hurricane Katrina. is currently assembling care packages for shipment to survivors of the devastated areas. UGA will be hosting a series of benefit concerts and events for the sole purposes of soliciting donations to assist’s efforts.
  • WWE is working with Americares, an international relief organizations based in Stamford, Conn. Americares has response teams in Mississippi and is sending in relief shipments of cleaning and hygiene supplies, and other materials.  You can donate to Americares by calling 1-800-486-HELP or going to

Additionally, numerous media outlets are teaming with the American Red Cross
including E!, The Style, The Juliana Theory, NATPE, Univision, A&E Networks, ESPN and ESPN Radio, Fox Cable Networks, Lifetime, MTV Networks, USA Network, Scripps Networks, Turner Broadcasting, The Weather Channel, Cynopsis: In Your Ear daily podcast, Adelphia Communications, Charter Comm., Comcast Corp and Comcast Foundation, Time Warner Cable, US Cable, CommScope, Motorola, NCTA, The Mattel Children?s Foundation, Warner Music Group, Scholastic, EchoStar/DISH Network.  Many of these companies are also providing PSA on-air time to promote donations.

I hope thru the lists above, you’ll find some avenue to donate to those down South.

Later — Cyn
09.06.05  – 10:18am
Cynopsis Ad Sales – Barbara Shapiro – 203-583-1224 /

Classified Ad Sales – Trish Pihonak – 203.381-9096 /

If you’d rather listen than read, you can sign up for the Cynopsis: In Your Ear podcast available for download each morning by 630a at or via iTunes 4.9 listed in the podcast directory under “News.”

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Copyright Cynthia Turner 2005

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