LABB Volunteer and freelance writer, Jamie Hansen, was interested in doing follow-up work after reading “Gulf (P)aid?” by LABB staff member, Mariko Toyoji. She wrote this blog in response.
I just recently read the Bucket Brigade post regarding the recent Gulf Aid concert, which was designed to fundraise monies to assist those negatively affected by the oil disaster. The post, which you can read here, explains that the Bucket Brigade was almost asked to leave the show (for rather vague reasons involving targeting British Petroleum through one of their signs and asking for donations). It also raises the concern that the recipients of the Gulf Aid fundraiser have yet to be named.
Eyebrows raised, I called to check in with WWOZ General Manager and even Co-Founder David Freedman to see what was up with the Gulf Aid monies.
Freedman verified that recipients of the Gulf Aid fundraiser haven’t yet been chosen: “We’re trying to get on the ground, visit these groups, and widen our pool so we consider all the possible groups [that are worthy],” he said.
Freedman is one of the three members of the Gulf Aid board, along with plumbing contractor Joe Jaeger and Sidney Torres of SDT Waste and Debris Services.
Freedman said the final tally of the funds raised through last Saturday’s concert wasn’t completed yet, and declined to give an estimate of what those funds might be. He did estimate that the amount — and likely the names of the beneficiaries — will be released Friday.
According to a Times-Picayune article, the board is using the following criteria in selecting those beneficiaries:
“The foundation’s creators are hoping to support organizations that meet the foundation’s three standards: Money must go as directly as possible to beneficiaries, not operating costs; it must help either wildlife or people whose livelihoods were directly affected by the Deepwater Horizon spill; and it must target needs not being addressed by government…”
It sounds like the board could use some help finding the best — and most legitimate — groups to donate to. To encourage the Gulf Aid group to donate to an organization you think deserves it most, email David Freedman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, stay tuned as we continue to cover how much Gulf Aid raised and where the money will go.