September 21, 2008 -- A full week after the torrents of Hurricane Ike battered the Gulf Coast of Texas, the scene is still one of shock and destruction. With over one million residents evacuated, these coastal towns and cities are dealing with a long road ahead of them in the attempt to clear debris, allow residents to return to their neighborhoods and get utilities and services in working order.
The situation is particularly difficult for those with large animals. Evacuating and housing horses has its own set of concerns. In response to past disasters and in hopes of assisting in future ones, the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) established the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund and is now requesting contributions from individuals and organizations wishing to assist those in the hurricane-ravaged Texas coast.
Money donated to the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund assists equines of any breed that find themselves victims of disasters, including but not restricted to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, blizzards and fires. The money will be held by USEF in an account restricted for this purpose and disbursed only upon authorization of the USEF CEO.
"During situations like this, it's imperative that we gather forces to assist in any way possible," said USEF CEO John Long. "Horsemen and women from all across the country have watched the tragedy unfold in the Gulf Coast and want to help in whatever way they can. A donation to the Disaster Relief Fund is a way to provide coordinated and directed support for equine emergencies. There are no administrative fees here. Every dollar that comes in goes out a dollar."
Donations may be made online at www.usef.org. If you wish to contribute to the effort by check, please make it out to the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund and mail it to: The United States Equestrian Federation, 4047 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511.