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West Hollywood encourages residents to aid disaster relief

WEST HOLLYWOOD — The city is encouraging community members to take part in donating to organizations that are organizing aid and recovery efforts following natural disasters during the past several weeks, including hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes and fires.

The city has activated its West Hollywood Responds program to help facilitate contributions from local residents, businesses and others to relief efforts for disaster victims.

“In just the past few weeks, we’ve witnessed the devastating effects of massive storms and terrible flooding in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and throughout islands in the Caribbean,” West Hollywood Mayor John Heilman said. “Earthquake relief is underway in Mexico as wildfires rage across the American West. I encourage people in West Hollywood to donate what they can to help relief organizations provide urgently needed assistance.”

“West Hollywood is a deeply compassionate community and we must reach out and do what we can to help people whose lives have been turned upside down by recent natural disasters,” Councilwoman Lauren Meister said. “I hope that ‘West Hollywood Responds’ encourages people in our community to contribute to the enormous efforts that organizations are embarking upon to help people recover and rebuild.”

The city’s core values include Responsiveness to the Public and Public Safety. The city has a deeply held commitment to actively seeking public participation and to protect the personal safety of the city’s constituents and safeguard the community from the threats of natural, technological and other hazards. As such, the city is mindful about the role that local governments and organizations play as they seek to assist communities affected by recent natural disasters.

In 2005, the City Council first established West Hollywood Responds as a local disaster relief program developed to provide assistance to the Gulf Coast region following Hurricane Katrina. Now, it is being reactivated.

The city has assembled a variety of links to donation information on its website to connect community members to trusted organizations.

Organizations include the American Red Cross, Operation USA, the One America Appeal, the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, the United Way of Greater Houston Flood Relief Fund, the LGBTQ Disaster Relief Fund, the Houston Food Bank, the Food Bank of Corpus Christi,  the United Way of Florida Hurricane Irma Relief Fund, Global Giving Hurricane Irma Relief Fund, and Feeding Florida Food Bank Network.

Community members may also visit Charity Navigator, which objectively reviews charities and has provided a list of organizations responding to the disasters. For more information, visit www.charitynavigator.org.

The cty also has assembled a list of organizations on its website at www.weho.org/responds.

Information: Lisa Marie Belsanti at (323) 848-6378.

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