This is one of those “stop the presses” moments. I was all set to write this month’s Chair’s Message on a different topic, and then Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. By now, we’ve all seen photos of the devastation, and the first-hand reports – some from our own colleagues – of the suffering the hurricane has caused, and continues to cause.
For some, including my niece who lives in southwest Houston, prayers were answered when their home was spared despite nearby neighbors’ homes flooding, whereas for others, we saw photos or watched videos on social media of the progress of the flooding of their homes. We are all saddened by the loss of life, including that of a police officer who died trying to rescue others.
After the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Foundation established the Disaster Relief Fund, aimed at providing financial assistance grants – up to $2500 each – to assist dietetics professionals and students with any expenses related to a federally-declared disaster such as Katrina and now, Harvey. The Commission on Dietetic Registration also provides funding, up to $500 each, for continuing education assistance to those affected by the disaster.
Since its establishment, the Disaster Relief Fund has distributed $132,000 to more than 100 individuals, and the CDR fund has disbursed $23,197 to over 40 dietetics practitioners. I realize that there are many worthy non-profit organizations to which you can donate to help victims of Harvey, but I’d ask you to please consider the Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund, which goes directly to our own colleagues in need.
You can donate, or request an application for assistance here. Thank you for your generosity. We continue to pray for our friends in Texas, that their suffering will soon be alleviated.
Martin M. Yadrick, MS, MBI, RDN, FAND
2017 – 2018 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Chair