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Lilly Endowment gives $30M for Harvey, Irma relief

September 20, 2017

Indianapolis-based philanthropic foundation Lilly Endowment Inc. has approved $30 million in grants to organization helping with relief efforts in the wakes of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The endowment announced Wednesday that the grants would support the American Red Cross ($10 million), Salvation Army ($10 million), United Way Worldwide ($5 million) and United Way of Greater Houston ($5 million).

The groups are helping residents across Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and U.S. territories in the Caribbean recover from the one-two punch of the hurricanes in late August and early September.

Lilly Endowment is one of the largest grant-making foundations in the United States, and concentrates its giving to the causes of community development, education and religion. Its assets—valued at $10.3 billion in 2016—are made up mostly of shares in Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical maker Eli Lilly and Co.

The endowment was founded in 1937 with gifts of Lilly stock by three members of the Lilly family—J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Lilly Jr. and Eli. The endowment is a separate entity from the pharmaceutical maker with a distinct governing board, staff and location.

The endowment says it has approved more than $220 million in grants since 2001 to support disaster relief and recovery efforts in the United States. They include $30 million in funds in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and $30 million after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana.

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