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Support Seniors Facing Natural Disasters

AARP Foundation donors made it possible to distribute $2 million in emergency grants, including two $500,000 matching gifts from AARP Foundation, to 2020 hurricane and wildfire recovery efforts.

AARP Foundation Disaster Relief - Hurricane Laura - August 2020

Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

The 2020 hurricane season was record-breaking with more than 30 named storms over six months. Hurricanes Laura and Sally devastated the Gulf Coast — flooding entire neighborhoods, damaging homes and leaving thousands of families without power.

The 2020 wildfire season was also record-breaking — destroying over 5 million acres across several states. Major fires burned one after another, polluting the air to dangerous levels, consuming thousands of buildings, and threatening millions of lives.

The need across the country was urgent — and donors answered our call to help seniors who lost so much. Here's an update on how donors made a difference in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Sally and the wildfires.

Thanks to our compassionate and generous donors, the following organizations received $2 million in emergency grants, including two $500,000 matching gifts from AARP Foundation:

Hurricane Laura Grantees:

  • Acadiana Legal Service Corporation (Louisiana)
  • All Hands & Hearts (Louisiana and Texas)
  • Association of Community Action Partnerships of Louisiana (Louisiana)
  • Lone Star Legal Aid (Texas)
  • SBP, Inc. (Louisiana and Texas)

Hurricane Sally and Wildfires Grantees:

  • California Community Foundation (California)
  • Center for Nonprofit Legal Services (Oregon)
  • Central Valley Community Foundation (California)
  • Council on Aging of West Florida (Florida)
  • Latino Community Foundation (California)
  • Legal Aid of Sonoma County (California)
  • Legal Services of Northern California (California)
  • Legal Services of North Florida (Florida)
  • Northwest Justice Project (Washington)
  • South Alabama Regional Planning Commission (Alabama)
  • South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program (Alabama)
  • United Way of Baldwin County (Alabama)
  • United Way of Jackson County (Oregon)
  • United Way of Lane County (Oregon)
  • United Way of West Florida (Florida)
  • Washington State Community Action Partnership (Washington)

Through the work of these organizations, donors have helped victims of these disasters repair their homes, get free legal advocacy services, and obtain financial support. Here’s what one grantee organization recently shared from a recipient they are supporting:

“I am a single woman, working full-time at 75 years old to make ends meet.  I lost everything during the Alameda Fire and was left with only the clothes on my back.  I am saddened to have lost my life’s possessions in this sudden and raging fire but am thankful to be alive. Any help is deeply appreciated.”

The rebuilding and recovery process for seniors affected by these disasters is a long one, but emergency gifts have already set that process in motion..