Southeast Texas Emergency Relief Fund receives $25,000 Valero grant for Port Arthur ISD victims of Hurricane Harvey

Valero has presented the Southeast Texas Emergency Relief Fund (SETERF) with a $25,000 grant designated to help Port Arthur Independent School District teachers, faculty and school leaders affected by Hurricane Harvey and to help the families of special needs children who lost equipment and supplies due to the storm.

Valero’s grant will help return a sense of normalcy to many educators, young people and their families whose lives have been uprooted since the hurricane.

SETERF was founded in 2005 in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Following those disasters, as well as Hurricane Ike in 2008, the organization raised substantial funds to support thousands of families in need of assistance.

In the wake of unprecedented damage from Hurricane Harvey, SETERF has once again renewed its efforts to provide immediate aid in the form of gift cards made available to local churches and other faith-based organizations that distribute them to flood victims for food, medicine and other necessities.

“With the majority of our region devastated by this disaster, Southeast Texans are still overwhelmed with inconceivable needs. Many individuals and companies have bolstered their support,” said Robert Edgar, SETERF chair.

Since the storm, the organization has raised more than $400,000 to aid nearly 2,500 individuals and families.

SETERF has a board of 25 leading Southeast Texas citizens who make decisions on the distribution of funds. There are no administrative costs and no paid staff. SETERF operates only with volunteers. ‎

The Southeast Texas Emergency Relief Fund (SETERF), a 501 (c)(3) organization, was established in 2005 by attorney Regina Rogers and businessman Joe Penland to address the extensive needs of thousands of individuals affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. SETERF rallied to the cause again after Hurricane Ike hit Southeast Texas in 2008. To date, more than $6.5 million has been distributed to individuals, social service organizations and faith-based organizations.

Photo courtesy of Valero - Pictured are Carl Griffith, Tom Noyola, Joe Domino, Barbara Phillips, Board Chairman Robert Edgar, Renee Cole and Verna Rutherford.