Peter Welch recently walked through what previously was a lovely neighborhood in Louisiana’s state capital.
Someone recording video followed Welch, the president of the National Automobile Dealers Association, as he passed by shoulder-high piles of floodwater-soaked furniture, possessions, drywall and other debris in an effort to show the devastation and subsequent need for dealers to give toward NADA’s goal of generating $2 million for the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation.
In front of a brick home with a lush green lawn partially covered in flood-ruined material, Welch described the scene in Baton Rouge, La., where as much as 22 inches of rain fell in a single weekend earlier this month as, “they’ve lost their homes or as you can see here, the homes are still standing but they’ve lost all of their possessions.
“Most of these areas are not in flood plains and therefore no one here has flood insurance, which exacerbates the problem,” he continued in the video that’s posted here.
On Thursday, officials announced a collective $15,000 donation to NADA’s efforts that are providing financial assistance to dealership families impacted by the flooding in southern Louisiana. The Ohio Automobile Dealers Association donated $10,000, and the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association donated $5,000.
“We're grateful for NADA spearheading this effort and are fortunate to be in a position to help,” OADA president Zach Doran said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those employees in need at dealerships in the affected areas, and we hope that our contribution makes a difference in helping get people back on their feet.”
Dealership families displaced by the flooding can apply for financial assistance through the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation's Emergency Relief Fund, which provides funds immediately after natural disasters.
“When others are in need, auto dealers are always there to lend a hand,” GCADA president Lou Vitantonio said. “We feel there is no better way to show support for dealership families affected by the flooding in Louisiana then by donating to the NADA Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund.”
To apply for assistance or to contribute to the fund, visit www.nada.org/emergencyrelief or call (703) 821-7102.
Checks can be made payable to:
NADCF Emergency Fund
8400 Westpark Drive
Tysons, Va. 22102
“We’re asking every dealership in the United States donate $1,000 to adopt a dealership family affected by the flooding. Our dealerships are one big family. When a member of our family hurts, we all hurt,” Welch said.
“We are extremely grateful for the generous donations from the dealer groups in Ohio, but we are a long way from reaching our $2 million goal. We are urging all dealer associations and dealers throughout the county to donate to the fund,” he went on to say.