Donations to the National Automobile Dealers Association's Emergency Relief Fund are coming in waves to support Houston-area employees after Harvey. But with close to 2,500 aid applications expected from the area, the fund is far from ready to take on Hurricane Irma.
The fund came dangerously close to running dry last week when the glut of aid applications in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey outpaced the rate of donations. NADA estimates that 30,000 to 35,000 dealership employees have been impacted. The maximum amount an eligible recipient can receive is $1,500. Dealer principals are ineligible for assistance.
Jonathan Collegio, senior vice president of public affairs for NADA, said to keep pace, the fund needs to raise about $2.5 million for Harvey, and possibly $3 million more for Irma.
Before Harvey, NADA had about $1 million left from an influx of donations after the flooding in Baton Rouge, La., late last year. The fund received about 600 Baton Rouge applications for aid in a month. Harvey yielded that many in one week.
So far, 200 of the Harvey applications have been processed, averaging about $1,000 apiece, and 400 are expected to be done in a week's time.