Kean Miller Hawthorne D’Armond McCowan & Jarman, LLP (Kean Miller) donated $10,000 today to help fund the initial development of the United Way Command Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The United Way Command Center has been established to efficiently and effectively meet the human service needs of Hurricane Katrina victims in the 10 parishes served by Capital Area United Way (CAUW).

“In the 4 days since Hurricane Katrina, we have been inundated with ideas and suggestions of how we can assist in local relief efforts. Rather than make many small contributions as individuals, we felt that by pooling our resources and making one contribution, we would be able impact people’s lives in a meaningful way. We hope our funding of the United Way Command Center will encourage other Baton Rouge businesses to join us in supporting this effort”, said Gary A. Bezet, managing partner of the 105 lawyer firm.

The mission of the Command Center is to serve as the primary communication conduit between governmental units working on disaster relief and non-profit agencies delivering services to victims; between businesses that have resources and the non-profit agencies; between non-profit organizations to assure efficient, effective services and use of resources; between non-profit organizations and faith-based organizations in service to disaster victims; and between the media and the non-profit agencies to share information about current and emerging needs with the public so that resources can be assembled.

About the United Way Command Center:

The Command Center will work closely with the Office of Emergency Preparedness, the Governor’s Office, the Mayor-President’s office, FEMA, VOAD and other governmental bodies. The Command Center will ramp-up service between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Through the Command Center, CAUW will use its well-respected funds distribution methods, needs determination skills, and information systems to locate and catalog both resources and expressed needs for service. The Command Center, initially housed at the headquarters of the CAUW, will verify authenticity of resources offered and assure that expressed needs are legitimate before pairing the two. The Command Center will be staffed with trained professionals whose sole responsibility will be to address the needs of Hurricane Katrina disaster victims and those who serve them.

About the Capital Area United Way:

CAUW serves Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. James, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana Parishes. The CAUW serves as the broker to make assets — material, personnel, monetary and information — available to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

About Kean Miller:

With more than 100 lawyers, Kean Miller is the largest law firm in the Baton Rouge area. The firm maintains offices in Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, and Plaquemine, Louisiana. The firm’s New Orleans office is closed due to Hurricane Katrina. The firm serves clients in numerous industries including energy, petrochemical and chemical, technology and telecommunications, transportation, media and advertising, banking and finance, government and education, health care, manufacturing, real estate, retail, construction and leasing. The firm combines the talent and expertise of its lawyers into multi-disciplinary client and industry teams. These teams are comprised of seasoned legal professionals from a variety of disciplines who are equipped to identify legal and business needs and to develop superior service strategies that provide unmatched support to the client.