San Diego is a long way away from Louisiana, but one Hillcrest restaurant is keeping the New Orleans community close to its heart through a fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Ida.
NOLA On 5th – located at 3683 5th Ave., just south of Pennsylvania Avenue – is teaming up with the American Red Cross Thursday and through this weekend to raise money for Ida relief efforts. From Sept. 2 through Sept. 5, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day, the restaurant will donate 50% of sales from its New Orleans Comfort Food Menu to the American Red Cross.
You see, the co-owner of the New Orleans-inspired eatery – Andrew Boyer – is a former resident of New Orleans and wants to help however possible in the wake of Ida’s devastation.
“After watching the devastation on TV, I just felt like I had to do something,” Boyer told NBC 7. “I have friends there, my family is there, and I felt like I had to help out.”
On Saturday, a local chapter of Louisiana State University alumni will join in on the restaurant’s fundraiser; the alumni will also be raising money for Ida aid during the LSU vs. UCLA football game starting at 5:30 p.m.
“So, the biggest problem that they’re having right now (in Louisiana) is that they have power and no water,” Boyer said. “So imagine your life without those two essentials. You can’t shower; you have no drinking water; if you want to do anything with the water, you have to boil it in order for it to be safe and sanitary.”
Boyer said the goal of the fundraiser at his restaurant is to raise $5,000 for Ida relief -- and for those in Louisiana to know "they are not alone."
If you'd like to learn more about donating to Hurricane Ida relief efforts directly through the American Red Cross, click here.
Hurricane Ida: What to Know
Hurricane Ida made landfall on Aug. 29 – on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. A few days later, hundreds of thousands of Louisianans sweltered in the aftermath, with no electricity, no tap water, and little gasoline.
Ida was the fifth most powerful hurricane to strike the U.S., and its devastation continues to be widespread. More than 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi were left without power. At one point, New Orleans plunged into total darkness.
The death toll rose drastically by Thursday as remnants of Hurricane Ida walloped the Northeastern U.S. with record-breaking rain and flooding.
Police said nine people died in New York City, while 14 deaths were confirmed in New Jersey. The latest updates on deaths related to Ida can be found here.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is set to visit Louisiana on Friday to survey the aftermath and speak with local and state leaders.
On Thursday, the president spoke about his administration’s efforts to provide federal assistance to the areas hit by Hurricane Ida (plus the communities impacted by the Caldor Fire in the Sierra Nevada region near Lake Tahoe).
“We’re all in this together,” Biden said. “The nation is here to help.”