Citizens and Corporations Respond With Outpouring of Generosity

American Red Cross
Saturday, 3 September 2005

Hurricane Katrina has left in its wake a level of damage and devastation that few could have previously imagined. As the American Red Cross moves into action across the affected areas of the Gulf Coast, the American public is responding with generosity and compassion. Donations of every size and type are pouring into the Red Cross from around the country. To date, it is estimated that corporations, foundations and individuals have contributed $302 million in gifts and pledges to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Many major US corporations and foundations have pledged outright financial gifts in support of disaster relief efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi and other affected areas. Among the donors who have contributed a million dollars or more include: Lilly Endowment Inc., Shell Oil Company, Merck & Co., Inc., The Dow Chemical Company, Capital One, Office Depot, the NFL, State Farm, Wal-mart Stores, Inc., The Walt Disney Company, ExxonMobil Foundation, Amerada Hess Corporation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and T. Boone Pickens Foundation - A Communities Foundation of Texas Fund. For a list of the corporations and foundations that have supported the Red Cross please click here. Other companies like Blockbuster, AT&T, Best Western, and SC Johnson have established employee campaigns to match the financial contributions of their employees. And some, like Anheuser-Busch Foundation, JP Morgan Chase & Co, BP Foundation, Capital One, Dow Chemical Company and State Farm, have done both.

The magnitude of the devastation wrought by Katrina has also given rise to unique campaigns to assist the American Red Cross help those in need. Coinstar, located in more than 10,000 grocery stores nationwide, is accepting donations to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund at all Coinstar machines. (To find the nearest Coinstar machine, visit www.coinstar.com). Customer donation programs have also been put into place at Amazon.com, Apple iTunes.com, all Best Buy stores nationwide, Hard Rock Café locations across the US, all JP Morgan Chase bank branches nationwide, and at all Lowe's, OfficeMax, Publix Corporation, Safeway and Ross stores nationwide. Several airlines and hotel chains like American Airlines, United Airlines, Hilton Hotels and Drury Hotels are offering bonus miles/points to their members who make donations to the Red Cross.

The power of the community is also making itself felt, as individuals throughout the US are also working with the Red Cross to support the affected areas. In the Cincinnati area, the Red Cross teamed up with Channel 5 WLWT for a telethon to raise money for Hurricane Katrina relief. By day 3 of the telethon more than $400,000 had been raised.

In addition to financial gifts, much needed supplies will soon be making their way to areas affected by Katrina. Both Anheuser-Busch and Nestle Waters are donating water to the Red Cross (Anheuser-Busch will be donating 2 million cans of water a week), while Kraft is supplying snacks and juice. In days ahead, AOL will provide much needed communication equipment, including Mobile Online & Family Communications Vehicles with laptops, satellite connections and workstations. Medical supplies like glucometers, cold packs and ace bandages are being donated by Becton Dickinson. GM Chevrolet Truck has generously committed to providing the Red Cross with vans, pickups and SUVs, and Wal-Mart is making necessities like flashlights, batteries, bleach, bedding and clothing available. At least a hundred more in-kind donations, ranging from additional food, water, clothing, medical supplies, baby supplies, jets to transport people and comfort items, like teddy bears, are pending. Please visit this link for further directions on making in-kind donations.

The importance of all donations, both large and small, and in any form, cannot be overstated. Each and every donation will provide direct assistance to those in need and will help communities and businesses recover from the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina.

For more information, or to contact American Red Cross, see their website at: www.redcross.org

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