BP makes donations in Hancock County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

BP makes donations in Hancock County

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

By Al Showers – bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Director of Hope Haven proudly displays a $1,000 check he received from BP.

Executive Director Hope Haven Terry Latham said, "I was amazed. We haven't put any application in or had anything to do with the BP situation. I didn't even know that BP knew we existed to be honest with you."

He says the unsolicited money will be put to good use.  

"We, like many of the other local charities, have just been inundated with families in crisis," Latham said. "We're putting it into our helping hands fund, every cent of this $1,000 will go out to local families in the community to help them with over due utility bills."

BP has given out a total of about $35,000 to local schools, the YMCA and several food banks including the Hancock County Food Pantry.

Treasurer of the Hancock County Food Pantry John Wittliff said, "We received a $1,000 donation from BP, and we're going to use it to buy food to give away to families that are being impacted by the oil spill."

Wittliff and others say they appreciate the goodwill BP is spreading.

"The oil spill was an accident. It wasn't intentional. They didn't mean to do this, and I'm actually impressed that they stood up to the extent that they have and said, 'We're going to fix it,'" Latham said. "If you didn't hate BP's guts the day before the oil spill disaster, how can you hate them now? So, I think it goes deeper than throwing some checks out at people and hoping that people will like them again. I think it's more than that."

Karen Cowart is with BP Community Affairs.

"Obviously, we're here to do whatever we can to mitigate the damage; that's important to us," Cowart said. "Our company does take responsibility for what's happening and what's happening in people's lives as a result of this spill. So anything that we can do in the community to mitigate that to help ease some of that pain, we're going to do. It's really important for us to show that BP does have a heart."

In addition to the charitable donations, BP also gave $10,000 in checks to the city of Bay St. Louis to buy clean-up equipment and to the Hancock County EOC to improve its emergency communication system.

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