The New York State Bar Association and The New York Bar Foundation are seeking donations to provide legal services for residents of flood-ravaged Louisiana, which the American Red Cross has called "the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Hurricane Sandy four years ago."
The two organizations set up similar disaster-relief efforts to assist victims after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast in 2012.
"When a disaster of this magnitude occurs, survival is the immediate need," said Claire P. Gutekunst, president of the New York State Bar Association. "As the flood waters subside, residents are confronting numerous legal issues, such as dealing with insurance, contractors and landlord-tenant disputes and qualifying for government assistance."
Foundation President John H. Gross said, "Nonprofit legal services providers in Louisiana will be inundated with calls for help. Donations to the Disaster Relief Fund will be distributed to support legal services programs in the affected areas."
Attorneys and the general public are invited to contribute to the fund. A full 100 percent of the donations will be earmarked for providing legal services to Louisiana flood victims.
The Foundation and New York State Bar Association, working with the Louisiana State Bar Association, will notify legal services providers that they can apply for disaster relief grants, once the funds are available.
Checks should be made payable to The New York Bar Foundation with the designation "Disaster Relief Fund" and mailed to The New York Bar Foundation, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207. Donations can also be made online at www.tnybf.org/donation. Click Restricted Fund, and scroll and select Disaster Relief Fund. Donations are tax-deductible as allowable by law.
The New York Bar Foundation is the charitable arm of the 74,000-member New York State Bar Association, which is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation.
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