Hurricane Harvey was a one-in-a-thousand-year rain event dumping nearly 25 trillion gallons of rainwater on the gulf coast. Most of the affected people were Texans, hearty and independent folk whose pride in their state leads them to take care of their own at a time like this.
It is not surprising then to see how many Texas businesses have jumped at the chance to help support the many hurricane victims and evacuees:
H-E-B grocery chain is giving customers the opportunity to donate by adding $1, $3, and $5 to their grocery bill at all H-E-B and Central Market locations, benefiting the American Red Cross for Texas Flood and Hurricane Relief, The Salvation Army, and Feeding Texas. They have provided over $1 million in free meals, food bank donations and financial contributions.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka committed to a $50,000 matching donation to the American Red Cross. They are actively encouraging their social media following and the community to donate to the relief effort and offering $1 donations at many local restaurants for each drink purchased using their vodka. Tito’s is also partnering with the Austin Disaster Relief Network to load supplies on two of their 18-wheeler trucks to send to Houston.
YETI donated 100% of direct sales via yeti.com and at the YETI flagship store on Friday, September 1st to hurricane relief efforts, with a significant portion benefiting the American Red Cross.
JPMorgan Chase has waived consumer fees for areas severely affected by the hurricane. In addition, they will donate $1 million and match employee donations to the American Red Cross and other organizations for relief efforts.
Alamo Drafthouse is encouraging movie-goers to add donations to their ticket purchase which will be matched dollar for dollar. They are also donating all revenue proceeds from certain shows in the upcoming weeks and giving free entry to evacuees at many of their Texas locations. Other locations around the country are also supporting the relief effort in similar ways.
Kendra Scott jewelry donated 50% of all on-line sales on August 29th to the American Red Cross efforts in Texas.
Samsung has donated $1 million to hurricane relief efforts, including the American Red Cross, local charity partners, and in kind donations such as charging stations, washing machines and dryers to relief shelters, and tablets and laptops to schools to replace damaged technology.
Whataburger pledged $1.5 million to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation has a goal of raising $100 million for the Rebuild Texas Fund.
Twin Liquors is taking donations of $1, $3, $5 or more at their 80+ locations and matching up to $20,000 for the American Red Cross.
Precision Camera is accepting toys and diapers and delivering them to affected areas.
Keller Williams Realty is providing a fleet of trucks and trailers to ferry goods to the affected areas.
Hundreds of local restaurants are helping in the effort from collecting diapers and supplies, to accepting donations which they will match, to donating a percentage of sales up to 100% on certain days. Examples are Gourdoughs, St. Elmo Brewing, Hopdoddy, Shady Grove, Hoover’s, Wink and Apis among others.
Home Away, like Airbnb, has made available to their host community the ability to offer their places for no cost to evacuees. They also are donating $25,000 to the American Red Cross and matching employee donations to any nonprofits supporting Hurricane Harvey.
Raising Cane's has activated their employee relief fund and their restaurants have been fulfilling requests all over Texas to feed first responders, shelter staff, nursing homes and hospice centers.
Google has already made a $250,000 donation to the American Red Cross and undertaking a $1 million matching campaign.
So many other local businesses, while not mainly consumer facing, are doing their own part with direct donations, employee matching, supply drives, blood drives, etc. Examples are IBM, Applied Materials, National Instruments, NXP, Q2, Silicon Labs, Bazaarvoice, Intel and Rackspace to name just a few.
It will take years for life to return to normal in the affected communities and we are so grateful to the business community for all their support.
This is a guest post from Debbie Johnson of Successful Giving, a consultancy that helps businesses and other funders discover their philanthropic passions and identify their strategic giving investments. With Sam Woollard, Debbie is the author of Give for Good: A How-to Guide for Business Giving. Debbie lives in Austin, Texas.