List Companies Create Portal to Help in Hurricane Relief

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American List Counsel and LDSGroup said yesterday that they created Direct Marketers for Katrina Relief to support Habitat for Humanity's recovery efforts in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast.


"For three days every few years, direct marketers called New Orleans home," said Fran Green, president of data management at ALC, Princeton, NJ. "New Orleans has been a direct marketing hub, and who knows if and when we will be back there."


DMers can support Habitat's Operation Home Delivery, which partially pre-assembles homes that then are shipped to the affected areas to be set up, via the portal at www.dmrelief.org. The two companies joined forces after Green spoke with Jeff Kobil, co-founder/co-CEO of LDSGroup, New York, about ways to help.


"We're a small company, and I called Fran because ALC works with Habitat for Humanity and other charities," Kobil said. "Once I saw what was going on, it was hard not to relate back to the convention center and how many times we've been there as an industry. New Orleans is a city that has been very good to us, and we really want to do something as direct marketers."


Habitat for Humanity seemed the ideal choice based on its mission.


"Habitat for Humanity is really involved in the long-term rebuilding," Green said. "We all saw how many lower-income people were affected by the hurricane, and that's exactly who Habitat for Humanity serves."


Having been in New Orleans for the annual Direct Marketing Association conference just last year, linking the effort with this month's DMA*05 conference in Atlanta made sense to Green and Kobil. Though they realize that many people already have donated for hurricane relief, they hope that this chance to give on behalf of the industry moves DMers to give additional funds.


They were set to send an e-mail blast to clients and colleagues today to drive people to the site. The e-mail mentions that 450,000 housing units in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama will need to be replaced or rebuilt as a result of Katrina and that nearly 156,000 of those units were home to families with annual incomes of less than $35,000.


Green and Kobil also are asking DMers to promote Direct Marketers for Katrina Relief on their Web sites and to feature the site in their booths at DMA·05.


At least one other direct marketing company has begun a hurricane relief effort tied in with DMA·05. To aid victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, cooperative database firm I-Behavior is conducting a blood drive with the American Red Cross from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 18 near the registration area at the convention center.


Kristen Bremner covers list news, insert media, privacy and fundraising for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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