Grishams giving $5M to rebuilding effort in wake of catastrophic storm damage
September 4, 2005
Editors note: Portions of this article originally appeared in The Clarion-Ledger.
Bestselling author John Grisham and his wife are contributing $5 million to help Mississippians rebuild after Hurricane Katrina — more than the donations of the NBA, Major League Baseball and Wal-Mart combined.
The NBA is contributing $2 million, while Major League Baseball and Wal-Mart are contributing $1 million each.
The couple is contributing the money to a relief fund they established at a Tupelo bank, BancorpSouth.
“We dont normally publicize gifts,” Grisham said. “But in these very, very rare circumstances — this tragic time — we hope the gift will get some attention and inspire other people to contribute money and help our fellow Mississippians on the Gulf Coast.”
The Rebuild The Coast Fund will raise funds for immediate humanitarian needs with emphasis on the re-building of homes and businesses.
The Grishams will provide an initial donation of $5 million to establish the Fund.
The fund's Web site is RebuildtheCoastFund.org. Contributions may be made online, by check made payable to Rebuild the Coast Fund, Inc., c/o BancorpSouth, P.O. Box 789, Tupelo, MS 38802, or at any BancorpSouth office. BancorpSouth has offices in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas.
Donations may also be sent to Rebuild the Coast Fund, Inc., P. O. Box 4500, Tupelo, MS 38803.
A former state legislator, Grisham said the fund will assist Mississippi residents and businesses.
“When you make charitable contributions, you realize you cant save the world, so you find a small area you can go into and hopefully do some good and do it with your own money and your own sweat and you see the results,” he said.
Grisham plans to hire a small staff to evaluate the hundreds — perhaps thousands — of requests for aid. The couple hopes to initially employ coast residents who have lost their jobs and are familiar with the area.
“I wonder how many of these homes are uninsured, how many are insured, and how big a gap there is between insurance and loss,” he said. “Lets help plug those gaps.”
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