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Press Release

United Way Establishes National Recovery Fund to Benefit Areas Affected by Hurricane Harvey

$1 million from Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation to help those facing devastating losses, focusing on mid- and long-term recovery

Alexandria, VA – August 30, 2017 – United Way Worldwide announced today that it has established the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund, a national fund which will distribute 100 percent of donations for recovery in the affected areas, community by community, in the months and years ahead. The fund will facilitate the donation process for United Way donors and partners who want to offer financial support to storm victims in Texas, Louisiana and the affected areas. 

The inaugural donation to this newly established fund was from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF), which made a $1 million contribution to directly support victims who have been impacted across the region. 

“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Leonardo DiCaprio and his foundation,” said United Way Worldwide President and CEO Brian Gallagher. “Responding to Hurricane Harvey requires the best of all of us – and that’s what this gift represents. United Way’s Harvey Recovery Fund will provide much-needed help for the communities along the Gulf Coast where lives have been changed forever.”

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 24 near Corpus Christi, TX and is on track to be one of the costliest storms in U.S. history. The unprecedented storm has wreaked havoc on homes and communities across Southeastern Texas and Southwestern Louisiana – producing up to 50 inches of rain in some areas. United Ways in the region are helping residents facing devastating losses from the historic flooding focusing on mid- and long-term recovery.

“United Way and other organizations are doing so much to help the victims of this tragedy. LDF has been committed to climate-related issues and environmental projects since 1998. We support efforts to build climate resilient communities and protect vulnerable wildlife and ecosystems across the planet, and have supported disaster relief and victim funds in the past. We hope others will step up and support the United Way and other organizations,” said LDF CEO Terry Tamminen.

The United Way network of over 1800 United Ways includes 24 directly in path of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction. Local United Ways in the affected areas include:

  • Aransas County United Way (Rockport, TX)
  • Matagorda County United Way (Bay City, TX)
  • United Way Galveston County Mainland, (Texas City, TX)
  • United Way of Beaumont and North Jefferson County (Beaumont, TX)
  • United Way of Brazoria County (Angleton, TX)
  • United Way of Calhoun County (Port Lavaca, TX)
  • United Way of Comal County (New Braunfels, TX)
  • United Way of Greater Baytown Area & Chambers County (Baytown, TX)
  • United Way of Greater Houston (Houston, TX)
  • United Way of Jackson County, Inc. (Edna, TX)
  • United Way of Mid & South Jefferson County (Port Arthur, TX)
  • United Way of Orange County (Orange, TX)
  • United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County (San Antonio, TX)
  • Victoria County United Way (Victoria, TX)
  • United Way of Southwest Louisiana, Inc. (Lake Charles, LA)
  • United Way of the Coastal Bend (Corpus Christi, TX)
  • United Way of Galveston (Galveston, TX)
  • United Way Greater Austin (Austin,TX)
  • United Way Williamson County (Round Rock, TX)
  • United Way of Acadiana (Lafayette, LA)
  • United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (Dallas, TX)
  • United Way of Central Texas (Temple, TX)
  • United Way of Southeast Louisiana  (New Orleans, LA)
  • United Way of Northwest Louisiana (Shreveport, LA)

United Way has a history of serving as the cornerstone for long-term recovery after natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina and flooding in Tamil Nadu, India. United Way is laying the ground work for mid- and long-term recovery in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey, which is expected to take several years. The United Way Harvey Recovery Fund is just one way the organization will continue the fight for every person in every community.

To donate or volunteer, please go to www.unitedway.org. For disaster help, call 211 or visit 211.org.

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About United Way Worldwide
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.8 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide, and more than $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit UnitedWay.org. Read our Annual Report. Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.

About Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (“LDF”) is dedicated to the long-term health and wellbeing of all Earth’s inhabitants. We support projects around the world that build climate resiliency, protect vulnerable wildlife, and defend communities from the worst impacts of climate change. LDF’s grant making program encompasses six focus areas: wildland conservation, marine conservation, climate change, innovative solutions, indigenous rights, and public advocacy.

LDF and Mr. DiCaprio have previously donated to disaster relief efforts and victim funds, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, 2010 Haiti earthquake, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and the 2016 terror attack in Nice, France. Learn more at leonardodicaprio.org

Media Contact

Southerlyn Reisig
United Way Worldwide
703-836-7100 ext 321
southerlyn.reisig@uww.unitedway.org