As America struggles to cope with the devastation and loss caused by Hurricane
Katrina, Professional Photographers of America (PPA) has taken unprecedented steps
to assist photographers in the affected areas. Yesterday the PPA Board of Directors
guaranteed up to $200,000 for the recently established PPA Disaster Relief Fund,
as the Association continues its fundraising efforts.
"With more than 250 PPA members in the stricken areas of Alabama, Mississippi
and Louisiana, PPA knows firsthand of the destruction caused by this hurricane,"
said Ann Monteith, PPA President. "We all watched in shock and sadness as
the scope of the damage unfolded, and we felt compelled to find a way to directly
help PPA members affected by this disaster as soon as possible. We will continue
fundraising in hopes that we can surpass the $200,000 mark."
PPA's relief fund was established last week through PPA Charities, a 501(c)(3)
organization. The original intent was to disburse the money collected to disaster
relief agencies. PPA's Board of Directors, in response to requests from
PPA members, voted this week to shift the focus of the relief fund so that it
will now be used to provide direct aid to PPA member photographers. The fund will
distribute $1,000 to each PPA member studio directly affected by Hurricane Katrina.
"PPA's members have a long history of pulling together to help each
other in times of crisis," said PPA CEO, David Trust. "PPA's
Disaster Relief Fund is another example of our members' commitment to one
another and their spirit of generosity and compassion."
In addition to directly assisting its members, PPA is contributing $10,000 ($5,000
each) to its two state Affiliates in the hard-hit areas, Professional Photographers
of Louisiana and Professional Photographers of Mississippi-Alabama. These Affiliates
will use the contributions to directly assist their members.
To request a studio grant, PPA members in the disaster areas should call PPA at
1-800-786-6277 and ask to speak with a Disaster Relief assistant. They will be
asked to provide information and details including name, studio name and address,
temporary location information, brief description of damage/loss, where the grant
money can be sent or wired, and how they can currently be reached.
How Others Can Help
PPA is challenging its other members, along with vendors and suppliers in the
industry, to join forces with PPA by contributing to the relief fund. Contributions
can be made by sending a check payable to PPA Charities to Disaster Relief, c/o
Professional Photographers of America, 229 Peachtree Street, Suite 2200, Atlanta,
GA, 30303. Please note "Disaster Relief" on the check.
PPA also needs your help getting the word out about the Disaster Relief Fund.
If you know of anyone who has been directly affected by the hurricane, please
do whatever you can to get information to them about the relief fund so they can
receive assistance right away. Please also encourage photographers with useful
information to share it on the Hurricane Katrina Forum on OurPPA.com.
PPA Charities is a charitable, non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization that allows
imaging professionals to combine their individual efforts to make an impact on
the lives of children and families everywhere. It also allows PPA to become a
force for positive change in our society and to make a difference in the lives
of others. For more information about PPA Charities, visit charities.ppa.com.
Professional Photographers of America (PPA), the world's largest and most
influential photographic and imaging trade organization, exists to assist its
more than 14,000 members in achieving their professional, artistic, and fraternal
goals; to promote public awareness of the profession; and to advance the making
of images in all of its disciplines as an art, a science and a visual recorder
of history. For more information about PPA, visit www.ppa.com.