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Businesses Band Together to Provide Relief to Communities Hit Hardest by Harvey

Image Credit: Nick Wagner/American-Statesman

Hurricane Harvey, the strongest storm to hit Texas and Louisiana in decades, has left a wake of destruction in its path. More than 30,000 people have been driven into shelters and the storm’s aftermath has left behind some estimated tens of billions of dollars in damage. Though the storm has now been downgraded to tropical storm status, the danger is far from over if forecasts predicting the storm to move towards the Gulf of Mexico, where it will pick up strength before moving back over Texas, prove to be true.

In a bid to get the areas hit the hardest back on their feet, businesses across the country — including Sustainable Brands member companies UPS, CVS Health, FordPepsiCo, The Dow Chemical Company and The Walt Disney Company — are banding together to answer the American Red Cross’s call for storm relief.

The UPS Foundation has pledged more than $1 million in cash grants, in-kind transportation movements and technical expertise to provide urgent relief as well as support for long-term needs ranging from rebuilding to personal and financial recovery assistance. The company is working with FEMA, the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and other humanitarian aid partners to assess longer-term needs and will commit an additional $500,000 in cash and in-kind assistance for recovery needs that will be specified during the post-crisis recovery phase in the coming months.

“In this time of enormous need, it is critical to establish and support extensive networks of public-private partnership to get aid to those who need it, as quickly as possible,” said Eduardo Martinez, President of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer. “At the same time, setting aside funding and other resources for long-term recovery efforts is also important and we are laying that groundwork as well.”

CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation have donated $200,000 in cash and in-kind product donations to relief efforts, with $100,000 going to the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the American Red Cross and $25,000 to The Salvation Army to aid the greater Houston area in supporting local residents as they begin the recovery and rebuilding process. The company is encouraging colleagues to make a donation, which it will match up to $25,000.

The company will also donate $25,000 worth of in-kind products including personal hygiene, clean-up and over-the-counter items.

Once it is safe to do so, CVS will begin moving its mobile pharmacies into the area to allow customers to pick up their prescriptions, purchase over-the-counter-medications and receive vaccines. CVS Caremark, the pharmacy benefit management division of CVS Health, is also able to provide one-time emergency refills of a 10-day supply of medication for plan members in impacted areas at local pharmacies.

PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation have also stepped up to the plate, committing $1 million to the American Red Cross to provide vital resources to hurricane victims across Texas and other impacted communities. More than 10,000 PepsiCo employees call Texas home and the company has said it is prepared to help local authorities and disaster relief agencies marshal necessary resources to affected areas and address immediate needs. PepsiCo’s business units are positioned to provide critical supplies such as purified drinking water, to impacted communities.

“PepsiCo’s focus is on helping those in need during this difficult time,” said Indra K. Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. “I’m proud that our people and our partners are coming together to provide critical support to help those in Harvey’s path sustain themselves during the storm and rebuild in its aftermath.”

The Dow Chemical Company announced that it will allocate $1 million to support immediate relief and long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts associated with the storm and its aftermath, as well as support for the company’s impacted employees. As part of this commitment, Dow will donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, $100,000 to Team Rubicon and $200,000 to other local nonprofit organizations assisting the region. It is also matching employee and retiree donations up to $100,000 to the American Red Cross.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire region, including our employees and the communities that we call home as the wrath of Hurricane Harvey is endured,” said Andrew Liveris, Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company. “Our primary concern right now is the safety of our employees and communities and we’re working closely with our Dow families and local partners to help.”

The Walt Disney Company, in partnership with its owned ABC television station KTRK in Houston, has committed $1 million in cash to the American Red Cross. On Thursday, August 31, the DisneyABC Television Group (DATG) will host a ‘Day of Giving’ to benefit those impacted by the hurricane. Starting in the morning with ABC local affiliates and Good Morning America and throughout the day on ABC, Freeform, RadioDisney and across all DATG social platforms, there will be a call-to-action to donate to the American Red Cross.

“Our hearts go out to everyone in the devastating path of this historic storm,” said Robert A. Ider, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “It’s hard to fully appreciate the impact, in part because it isn’t over yet. But we know thousands of people have lost everything and now face the daunting challenge of putting their lives and communities back together and we’re using our unique resources and reach to help those in need.”

Disney is also matching eligible Disney employee donations to the American Red Cross and other qualified organizations involved in the Hurricane Harvey relief effort. 

The Ford Motor Company Fund is contributing $100,000 to disaster relief efforts in Texas, and matching up to $50,000 in contributions to the American Red Cross, raising potential assistance from Ford to $200,000.

Apple, Aetna, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Starbucks, United Airlines and Walmart have also made donations to fund relief efforts. Amazon is currently matching up to $1 million in cash donations made via Amazon.com to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief.


Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have… [Read more about Sustainable Brands]


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