The Realtors Relief Foundation will provide funds for Hurricane Katrina victims, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

The foundation will contribute $50,000 to state Realtor associations in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi this week in light of destruction caused by Katrina.

Realtors Relief Foundation President Pat Kaplan said the initial contributions will help fund the establishment of state relief funds. “However, much more will be needed to help the many who have lost their homes or businesses,” she said.

“There are so many on the outskirts of New Orleans who have lost everything,” said Sandy Lash, an executive at the Louisiana Association of Realtors in Baton Rouge. The storm left six to seven feet of water in areas around New Orleans, including Metairie and Kenner, where virtually every structure sustained damage. “It will be weeks or months before full power is restored to these areas, and the entire water system in the area has been compromised,” Lash said.

In Alabama, communities around the Gulf, still recovering from Hurricane Ivan a year ago, are once more digging out. “We have thousands who lost everything in Ivan and had built their homes back up only to have them destroyed again,” said J. Danny Cooper, association executive at the Alabama Association of Realtors.

NAR CEO Terrence M. McDermott is calling on Realtors to reach out and help their colleagues in this time of tremendous need. “We ask that you send whatever you can to the Realtors Relief Foundation and we will pass your donation along in a rush,” he said.

All administrative costs of the project will be absorbed by NAR; 100 percent of all donations will go directly to aid the victims.

Contributions can be made online through the following secure site: https://www.realtor.org/relief.

To make contributions by mail, checks should be made payable to the Realtors Relief Foundation and sent to: Realtors Relief Foundation, Attn: NAR Finance Division, 430 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60611.

For those who would like to make donations directly to the states, in Alabama send checks payable to the Alabama Realtor Disaster Relief Fund, P.O. Box 4070, Montgomery, AL 36104. Donations can be made by credit card by calling the Alabama Association of Realtors at 334/262-3808 or by going online to http://www.alabamarealtors.com/relief.cfm.

For Louisiana, checks payable to the Louisiana Realtors Association Relief Fund should be sent to P.O. Box 14780, Baton Rouge, LA, 70898, or to Regions Bank, attn: Louisiana Realtors Association Relief Fund, 5353 Essen Lane, Suite 150, Baton Rouge, LA 70809.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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