The President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Albert Ruesga, recently reflected on his memories of how far his city has come in the five years since the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. The same is surely true for other philanthropic leaders along the Gulf Coast, especially as they deal with new needs related to the BP oil spill and contemplate the generosity of celebrities like Jimmy Buffett and Jay Leno in organizing opportunities for people to contribute.
Such acts of kindness color our collective memory of all such disasters, because we are lucky enough to see the results of what every individual gift can accomplish for the collective good.
Like Ruesga, we say thank you to all of those who shared gifts of time, talent and treasure to assist survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Thank you to those who stepped up to provide a central hub of information and assistance at Boutwell Auditorium and to those corporations that made it easy for their employees to give through special grantmaking funds at the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and other community foundations in Mobile, Baton Rouge, Jackson, Ms., and elsewhere.
When disasters come, as they will, we are glad to be part of a community and a country whose citizens have such a strong drive to share whatever they have with those less fortunate. Together, as we prove over and over again, we can make a difference, no matter what the situation.