by Mariah G. Ross
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf Coast, seriously devastating New Orleans. Had it not been for American donors, this natural disaster could have left large populations throughout the Gulf Coast without the basic, crucial resources for an extended period of time. By September 15th, American donors had given $580 million to support relief efforts, and the outpouring of financial support, as well as volunteer efforts, by no means stopped there (for more information, see our 2006 report on Hurricane Katrina).
Ten years have passed since the storm, and the efforts of non-profits are evident throughout the Gulf. #xoxonpo is a campaign started by four nonprofits based in New Orleans who acknowledge that real change would not have taken place in New Orleans without the tireless work of non-profits, dedication of volunteers, and commitment of donors.
Radio stations, television networks, nonprofits, and local leaders are rallying behind the campaign. Albert Ruesga, CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, remarked, “I feel like crying, thinking about the outpouring of generosity that continues to come, and it has from all parts of the world. It’s been spectacular.” The four charities that started #xoxonpo produced a short video expressing their gratitude, which can be viewed here.