What’s bright orange and has eight fingers and two thumbs? Fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico, thanks to donations from people and organizations to the Gulf Seafood Foundation’s (GSF) “Helping Hands” effort providing work gloves to Gulf fishermen affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
More than 1000 pair of foam insulated and fleece-lined work gloves have been delivered to the Gulf Seafood Foundation.
More than 1000 pair of foam insulated and fleece-lined work gloves have been delivered to Houston (GSF) Board member Raz Halili of Prestige Oyster’s. The fluorescent orange PVC coated gloves with dark brown wristbands are imprinted the Gulf Seafood Foundation logo and the hashtag “#helpinghands.
“These gloves are perfect for our Gulf fishermen,” said Halili after receiving the shipment. “Work gloves are an important part of everyday life on a fishing vessel. We hope they will remind those working hard to provide the best seafood in the U.S. to customers around the world that they are not forgotten.”
Halili, and GSF Board member Ewell Smith, are currently formulating plans to distribute the gloves. The two Co-Chairs of the Foundation’s Charitable Committee want to get the gloves on the hands of fishermen in Texas and Florida first, and then distribute the remaining gloves across the Gulf.
“We are not a large organization but we wanted to do something that all our fishermen could appreciate,” said Jim Gossen, Chairman of the Foundation. “I want to thank everyone who made this possible. Every dollar we received from donations was spent on this project and it is our hope that we can make this an ongoing program. We also would like to thank Dallas based Mprinted.com for working to provide these gloves for our fishermen.”
One of the largest donors to the program came from a Louisiana company. Portion of proceeds from The Oyster Bed’s new sizzling steak plate “The Steak Bed” were donated to the “Helping Hands” project.
At the launch the company created a coupon code – “HelpingHands” – to save customers 10% on The Steak Bed orders from The Oyster Bed’s website. A five-dollar donation was made to the Gulf Seafood Foundation for each order.
“Five dollars may not seem like a lot, but that is a pair of gloves for a fishermen,” said Tommy Waller, who founded the company with his brother Adam. “Fishermen go through three or four pair a week, that’s more than $75 a month they could have used to repair their flooded home, feed their kids, or pay their mounting bills.”
Work gloves are an important part of everyday life on a fishing vessel. The Gulf Seafood Foundation hopes they will remind those working hard to provide the best seafood in the U.S. to customers around the world that they are not forgotten.
“Last year was tough for Gulf fishermen,” said Joaquin Padilla, a Texas oyster fisherman who was among the first to receive gloves. “I appreciate the efforts of the Gulf Seafood Foundation to provide a little extra assistance when we need it most. I will wear these and remember there are good people out there looking out for us.”
The Foundation is also planning to distribute a few gloves to chefs across the Gulf who continues to unselfishly support Gulf fishermen. “We would like to our gloves on the hands of some of the best restaurant oyster shuckers,” said Ewell Smith. “We are also hoping to get chefs to autograph the gloves and auction them off to raise more money for our fishermen.”
In addition to distribution to Gulf fishermen, the Foundation is planning on sending gloves to fishermen in Puerto Rico who were also severely impacted by Hurricane Maria. “This is just the first step to help our fellow fishermen on the island,” said Board Member Harlon Pearce. “We are in the process of initiating a fund where proceeds will go directly to Puerto Rico fishermen.”
Distribution of the gloves is set to begin in late February or early March. “We would love to hear from fishermen across the Gulf who need these gloves so we can get them on their hands,” said Gossen. “Future donations to this project will not only go to continue to ensure that that Gulf seafood remains in good hands, but assist fishermen. A small donation goes along way.”
How to Contribute
Every dollar donated to the Foundation will go toward helping those who provide Gulf fish to the tables across America and around the world. Gulf fishermen are resilient. They are survivors. They have been through this before and we have always come back stronger. This will be no exception.
To donate to the Gulf Seafood Foundation’ “Helping Hands” please click the “Donate” button or send a check or money order to: Gulf Seafood Foundation Hurricane Harvey Relief, 2851 Johnston Street, Suite 162, Lafayette, LA 70503.
Helping Hand Donors
The new Restaurant & Hospitality Association Benefit Trust is now available to quote as an option for
NRA/LRA restaurant and hotel member groups. The RH Association Benefit Trust is a new health benefits solution insured and serviced by UnitedHealthcare and focused on small employers with 2-99 eligible employees. This solution can offer National Restaurant Association/LRA members some of the same advantages of large employers regarding more health plan designs for product and potential pricing flexibility. Available nationally, the new RH Association Benefit Trust features a product portfolio with more than 120 health plan designs. It is just one more way for hospitality businesses to access UnitedHealthcare’s solutions for NRA/LRA members.
Health care reform guidance and solutions
Amid the ever-changing health care regulatory environment, UnitedHealthcare also helps provide National Restaurant Association/LRA members with the latest health reform facts, guidance and solutions to navigate potential changes and opportunities. One of its main goals is to offer easier access to cost-effective health care coverage and related products and services to National Restaurant Association/LRA members, while helping them comply with state and federal regulations.
Wellness programs and services
UnitedHealthcare has a variety of wellness programs and services aimed at Helping people live healthier lives®. Several clinical and wellness programs are embedded with most medical plans — such as decision support, care management, complex-condition management and health improvement programs. Plus, all members receive access to a member website that includes dozens of tools and resources to help them understand, improve and maintain their health.
To learn more about the RH Association Benefit Trust, contact Kaley Krause at 952-912-6784 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Tabatha George, Fisher & Phillips LLP
The IRS quietly revised its FAQ on employer shared responsibility provisions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in November, adding a bombshell statement that it plans to inform employers of their “potential liability for an employer shared responsibility payment, if any, in late 2017.” The announcement should put employers on high alert at the close of the year.
Background: Employers Were Hoping To Escape Enforcement
Under the ACA, large employers are required to provide their full-time employees with healthcare insurance that is affordable and meets minimum value. However, penalties for failure to offer such coverage have not yet been assessed. Some speculated that, given the political uncertainty surrounding healthcare reform, the government would either continue to delay enforcement or skip enforcement for 2015 altogether. With its recent statement, the IRS clarifies that penalties for failure to provide coverage will be pursued.
What Does This Announcement Mean For Employers?
The FAQ explains the manner in which the government will propose and assess penalties. Letter 226J will be issued to a large employer if the IRS determines that, for at least one month in the year, one or more of the employer’s full-time employees were enrolled in a qualified health plan for which a Health Insurance Marketplace subsidy was issued, and the employer did not qualify for an affordability safe harbor or other relief.
Letter 226J will include: (1) a penalty explanation; (2) a summary table itemizing the proposed payment per month; (3) a response form (Form 14764); (4) an Employee Premium Tax Credit (PTC) Listing (Form 14765), which lists by month the employer’s full-time employees who received a Marketplace subsidy and were not offered employer coverage that met an affordability safe harbor; (5) a description of the actions the employer should take depending on whether it agrees or disagrees with the proposed payment; and (6) a description of the actions the IRS will take if the employer does not respond in a timely manner.
A response deadline will appear on the Letter 226J, generally 30 days from the date of the letter. After an employer responds, the IRS will send its response (Letter 227). If, after such response, the employer still disagrees with the proposed penalty payment, it may request a pre-assessment conference with the IRS Office of Appeals. If an employer fails to respond to either Letter 226J or Letter 227, the IRS will assess the amount of the proposed penalty, then issue a notice and demand for payment (Notice CP 220J).
What Should Employers Do Now?
Since the opening of the Marketplace in 2014, many employees have misunderstood their eligibility for subsidies, and now even employers that believe they complied with the employer mandate may receive a proposed penalty assessment. With only one month left in the year, all large employers should be on the lookout for Letter 226J and begin to implement the processes necessary for a timely response.
If you receive a letter and have questions, please call the LRA Communications Dept. at (504) 454-2277.
The Hurricane Harvey Hospitality Employee Relief Fund was established to assist current full-time and part-time employees of hotels and restaurants in federally declared disaster areas (Texas and Louisiana) who suffered financial hardship due to Hurricane Harvey. Employees may request assistance of $2,000 – $5,000. Applications are strictly confidential. Grants made from the fund are gifts, not loans, and are not required to be repaid.
The Foundation will accept up to 100 applications for review. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. Amounts awarded will be based on the amount available in the Fund.
The Hurricane Harvey Hospitality Employee Relief Fund accepts only electronic application submissions through the Foundation’s online portal. The Greater New Orleans Foundation’s technology partner, Foundant, has created a brief tutorial for applicants that may be viewed here. Proposals that are not submitted electronically will not be considered.
Click here to apply.
Endorsed LRA provider Heartland Payment Systems has released Heartland Hire Solution, a service implemented to help members with the hiring process by finding and tracking applicants, assisting with employee on-boarding, tracking work opportunity tax credits (WOTC) and providing these tax credits to members.
As a token of appreciation for their business, Heartland will provide employee on-boarding free of charge. If members wish to add applicant tracking and WOTC, pricing is substantially more affordable than other services in the marketplace.
Benefits of this service include:
For more information about Heartland Hire Solutions, contact Angela Ihry at email@example.com or 605-940-9861.
Restaurants across the country support the Hurricanes Harvey & Irma Hospitality Employee Relief Fund with "One Meal, One Night, One Nation" Dine Out Day, Oct. 2
Celebrity chefs Tom Colicchio, Michael Symon, Dante Boccuzzi, Rick Moonen, and Tom Douglas join the Louisiana Restaurant Association, Commander's Family of Restaurants and the Greater New Orleans Foundation to raise funds for restaurant and hotel workers affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma
On Monday, October 2, 2017, hospitality industry leaders and diners alike will come together for “One Night, One Meal, One Nation” to support the Hurricanes Harvey & Irma Hospitality Employee Relief Fund. In gratitude to Alex Brennan-Martin and the Houston community for their support in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, co-proprietors Ti Adelaide Martin and Lally Brennan of Commander's Palace, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and Louisiana Restaurant Association invite patrons across the country to dine out for a cause. As part of this special evening, participating restaurants will donate a portion of the proceeds towards individual grants for hospitality workers, as well as to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, and local school partners in the greater Houston and Florida Gulf communities.
“After Hurricane Katrina, the hospitality community was there for New Orleans, and we'll never forget it. Alex Brennan-Martin started the New Orleans Hospitality Workers Disaster Relief Fund, and with a National Dine Out Day as well as additional fundraising, raised and gave away over a million dollars in small grants to help individuals in New Orleans. Today, we are returning the favor,” shares Martin.
Donations will benefit industry workers and organizations in the affected areas, providing relief to hurricane victims and assisting the families in the hospitality industry who were affected by the disasters. A list of participating restaurants can be found on Reserve—the country’s premier hospitality technology platform, helping restaurants and guests connect—at: tablemanagement.reserve.com/onemealonenightonenation.
If diners are unable to participate on the night, tax deductible donations can be made via Golden Rule’s Indiegogo for One Meal, One Night, One Nation at: http://bit.ly/2x81kXM or by mailing a check to the Greater New Orleans Foundation at 919 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130—donations should specify "Hurricanes Harvey & Irma Hospitality Employee Relief Fund." Both are tax deductible.
“Our National Dine Out Day for Hurricane Katrina was such a success, and I can’t wait to see what this evening and the crowdfunding website will do for hospitality employees in Houston and Florida during this challenging time,” says Brennan-Martin.
Confirmed participants include notable chefs Michael Symon, Tom Colicchio, Dante Boccuzzi, Rick Moonen, and Tom Douglas.
LRA, Commander’s Family of Restaurants & GNO Foundation Activate the Hurricane Harvey Hospitality Employee Relief Fund
The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA), in partnership with the Commander’s Family of Restaurants and the Greater New Orleans Foundation, has activated the Hurricane Harvey Hospitality Employee Relief Fund (HERF). The LRA uses its influence to help direct charitable contributions through its national and state restaurant association network and the nation’s restaurant industry. Harvey’s extensive rainfall and flooding, which has surpassed that of Hurricane Katrina, has made the LRA a go-to resource for recovery efforts following weather-related events such as Hurricanes Ike and Gustav and most recently, the August 2016 flooding in Baton Rouge.
“Our restaurant community immediately rallies to answer the call of those in need,” said Stan Harris, LRA President & CEO. “Unfortunately, our challenges with weather-related events have provided us the experience to aid those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Helping direct money to get hospitality employees back on their feet and to work is critical for Houston’s recovery.”
Criteria is being established to award individual grants and the HERF will donate to restaurant and hotel workers who are in a position of hardship during the recovery period. The partnership will work with the Texas Restaurant Association to help award grants through its Greater Houston Restaurant Association.
“After Hurricane Katrina, the Houston community was there for New Orleans and we'll never forget it. Alex Brennan Martin, along with the LRA, started the New Orleans Hospitality Workers Disaster Relief Fund and it raised and distributed more than $1 million in small grants to help individuals in New Orleans. Today, we are returning the favor,” shared Ti Martin of Commander’s Family of Restaurants.
If you, or an organization you know, is looking to support our industry, please visit www.gnof.org/give-now/ and specify your donation is for the "Hurricane Harvey Hospitality Employee Relief Fund." If the donor prefers to send a check, please make it payable to the Greater New Orleans Foundation and mail it to 919 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130.