In the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Businesses and Individuals Donate Millions to Help with Relief Efforts

Hurricane Harvey Impacts Houston photo by Karl Spencer, licensed.

Hurricane Harvey hit South Texas hard and with billions of dollars in losses, it is proving to be one of the costliest natural disasters in our nation’s history.

Houston, Beaumont, and the Port Arthur area received more than 50 inches of rain in a short amount of time flooding many houses and businesses and wreaking havoc with gas, water and food supplies.

And the storm also wiped out areas of Port Arthur, Rockport and other coastal areas.

It will take people and businesses in the hardest hit areas years to recover and rebuild.

USA Today reports the storm could cost as much as $190 billion.

So many individuals and businesses have responded like true selfless heroes in the aftermath of the storm. This is a roundup of some of the funds they are raising to help with the relief effort.

CORPORATE AND INDIVIDUAL FUNDRAISING FOR HURRICANE HARVEY VICTIMS

The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation along with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have created the Rebuild Texas Fund to raise $100 million to aid in storm recovery efforts in Houston and other areas. The Dells have pledged $36 million to the fund and they are matching $1 for every $2 pledged until midnight tonight.

The Mercury Fund, a VC firm in Houston, is spearing the Entrepreneurs for Houston fundraising effort. “While there are many ways to give, we ask that you consider giving to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund established by Mayor Sylvester Turner. This fund has been created through the Greater Houston Community Foundation, and will directly serve victims affected by the storm. In the coming weeks and months, we will also share initiatives and programs that both directly help Houston’s entrepreneurs as well as solve the dynamic challenges that arise from this unprecedented event. Please join us, Entrepreneurs for Houston – http://entrepreneursforhouston.org, and other leaders of the Houston entrepreneurial community, as we give financial support to the Mayor’s Relief Fund.”

J.J. Watt, an NFL Superstar with the Houston Texans, has raised nearly $20 million for the Houston Flood Relief Fund on the YouCaring donation platform.

Other celebrities including Sandra Bullock have donated personal funds to help relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey, according to a Today Show story. The actress pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross.

And the website, GoFundMe, has a roundup of various groups raising money for disaster relief, ranging from the Rockport Chamber of Commerce to Jordyn Grace, the three-year-old child who was rescued along with her deceased mother in Beaumont.

Amazon and Whole Foods: To support relief efforts, Amazon and Whole Foods Market announced they will match cash donations made via Amazon – up to $1 million total – to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey Relief.

Apple: Apple has donated $2 million to the Red Cross, and is matching employee donations two-for-one and through its efforts the company has helped to raise more than $3 million, according to an article in BuzzFeed. It is also soliciting donations for the American Red Cross from customers on its websites.

Facebook agreed to match donations made to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. Its community raised more than $10 million, according to a post by Mark Zuckerberg.

Google has announced a $1 million matching campaign for the American Red Cross among other giving efforts.

H-E-B Grocery: H‑E‑B will donate $100,000 toward Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and begin accepting customer donations for the families and communities devastated by the storm,” according to a news release. All H‑E‑B, Central Market and Joe V’s Smart Shop stores across Texas launched a statewide tear pad campaign, giving customers an opportunity to support victims through donations of $1, $3, or $5, which can be added to their total grocery bill. All monies accepted will benefit the American Red Cross for Texas Flood and Hurricane Relief, The Salvation Army and Feeding Texas.

Microsoft is “contributing $2.5 million in cash, technology and services to support relief efforts and to help nonprofit and public-sector organizations as they assist the community in recovery. This includes an initial cash donation to the American Red Cross for its most pressing needs,” according to a blog post.

Samsung: “Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung Austin Semiconductor, Inc., and Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. today announced a collective donation of $1 million to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in Texas and the surrounding southeast region of the U.S. impacted by the storm. Samsung is contributing a combination of cash funds and in-kind product donations, giving $500,000 to the American Red Cross’s on-site relief efforts and another $500,000 to local charity partners and schools in the form of Samsung products – including washing machines, dryers, charging stations, tablets and laptops, as well as employee volunteerism,” according to a news release.

Texas Instruments is making a $100,000 donation to the Red Cross. The company is also matching the donations of employees and retirees up to $100,000.

Toyota: “Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) is partnering with Toyota Financial Services (TFS), The Friedkin Group, Gulf States Toyota (GST) and Toyota and Lexus dealers nationwide, to provide a combined relief effort of over $3 million to serve the people impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” according to a news release. “The group’s relief efforts include funds to organizations such as the St. Bernard Project and American Red Cross, matching contributions, in-kind donations, volunteerism, and the donation of pre-owned vehicles.”

Valero: The San Antonio-based company is contributing $1 million to the American Red Cross to assist in relief efforts from Hurricane Harvey and associated flooding along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast.

Walmart: “Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed up to $20 million in support of relief efforts in response to the severe weather impacting the Gulf region,” according to a news release. “This includes $10 million focused on support of American Red Cross shelters and $2 million in support of the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, which was announced today at a press briefing with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.”

For a comprehensive list of corporate donations to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts please visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s website.

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