Hurricane Katrina rocked the Gulf Coast in 2005, becoming one of the five deadliest hurricanes ever to strike the United States. The powerful storm caused an estimated $108 billion in damage, making it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Katrina cut a path of destruction from Florida to Texas. More than 90 percent of towns as far as 12 miles inland felt the storm’s wrath, and hundreds of thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama lost their homes. As government agencies and non-governmental organizations struggled to provide much-needed support in the massive storm’s aftermath, Richard Hotes and the Hotes Foundation mobilized 50 volunteers to assist in recovery efforts.

The Hotes Foundation was the first volunteer group to arrive in Waveland, Mississippi, considered by many to be Katrina’s "Ground Zero". Waveland’s infrastructure was wrecked, and residents struggled to find adequate shelter and necessary services. The Hotes Foundation team spent 35 days in Waveland, battling sweltering temperatures, high humidity and unsanitary conditions as they built temporary fire stations, command centers, churches, schools, and air-conditioned temporary housing for residents. The Hotes Foundation’s efforts exemplified Richard Hotes’ belief that dedicated volunteers on the ground can help communities recover from the most daunting of situations.

For more information on this mission or to learn how to volunteer with the Hotes Foundation, please call (425) 889-5917 or complete our online form.

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