Friday, October 2, 2009
Ludacris, T.I. raise $115,000 for Atlanta flood victims
By Kristi E. Swartz
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta rappers Ludacris and T.I.have raised $115,000 to help Atlanta flood victims, a spokesman for The Ludacris Foundation said Thursday afternoon.
The foundation will be working with the United Way, Red Cross and school social workers to help families impacted by the flood, Roberta Shields, president of The Ludacris Foundation said Friday morning. Aid will be given out in the form of vouchers for food, clothes and building supplies, she said Friday.
Ludacris and T.I. each donated $10,000 on Thursday and then turned to friends and colleagues for help, a foundation spokesman said. T.I. is in prison for a year on weapons charges.
"The Atlanta music and hip hop community as well as the hip hop community at large has come to the support of Chris and T.I. and the Atlanta flood victims," the spokesman said.
Contributions came from Carmelo Anthony and his wife, La La Vazquez, singers Diddy, Young Jeezy, Shorty Low, The Dream, Sierra, producers Jamal Coleman, Tricky Stewart, David Banner, Russell Simmons, Anthony Dent, Edward Long, and Jini Thornton, The Otis Redding Foundation, actor Chris Tucker and actress Gabrielle Union.
A report on Wednesday from TMZ said Ludacris had planned to partner with Home Depot and Sam's Club and put together a food bank as part of the efforts. The foundation spokesman said the artist is still exploring options at this point.
"As you know, he loves Atlanta and is very concerned and interested," a foundation spokesman said. "He's had a conversation with a couple of people, his colleagues, we're not going to name names anymore. They are looking at how to pool their resources.
The challenge at this point is to partner with groups or agencies that can help figure out where the money should go, the foundation spokesman said.
A spokesman from Home Depot said the company would be happy to discuss relief efforts with the foundation.
"As Ludacris and T.I figure out what direction they're going in, we're happy to speak with them," spokesman Craig Fishel said.
Heavy rain triggered widespread flooding across Georgia, causing $250 million in damage and placing more than a dozen counties on the list to receive federal aid, officials said. Atlanta officials said at least 500 homes and businesses were damaged from the storms.
More than 3,600 residents and businesses had already applied for aid as of last week, the Federal Emergency Management Association said.
Chris "Ludacris" Bridges helped start The Ludacris in 2001. The nonprofit held a benefit earlier this month with the rapper-turned actor and philanthropist partnering with Nissan South to donate 20 used cars.