NEW YORK — Hurricane Harvey brought record rainfall to Houston and flash floods across the Texas and Louisiana coastal region. The storm also elicited an outpouring of generosity from the retail community.
Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer by sales, and the Walmart Foundation announced they had committed up to $20 million in support of relief efforts. 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. Walmart vowed to continue to deliver water and emergency supplies to the areas in greatest need. Items include cleaning supplies, pet food, batteries, diapers, baby formula, hand sanitizer, first aid supplies, fans, generators, candles, flashlights, propane, rainwear, tarps and gas cans.
“Our Texas family of customers and associates are experiencing devastating impact from this storm,” commented Doug McMillon, president and chief executive officer of Walmart. “We are on the ground to help our friends and neighbors in the Gulf region, and we’ll continue to be in the tough days, weeks and months ahead.”
Albertsons Cos. announced it had mobilized its chain of more than 2,300 stores to aid in the disaster-relief effort. The company announced a nationwide fundraiser, with proceeds going to help meet basic needs of people in affected areas. In addition, Albertsons and the Albertsons Cos. Foundation vowed to match the first $200,000 donated by customers.
“As a company with a long and proud presence in Texas, including the hardest-hit areas, we’re committed to helping our neighbors get through this crisis,” affirmed Bob Miller, chairman and CEO of Albertsons. “We know that the needs are immense, but so is our resolve to making a meaningful impact on the emergency response and humanitarian efforts.”
Dollar General Corp., the nation’s largest retailer in terms of store count, announced the donation of $50,000 to the American Red Cross to support recovery efforts in Texas and Louisiana. Additionally, Dollar General was accepting donations online and at its 14,000 stores in 44 states, with money collected through September 9 going to the Red Cross.
“Through our deep commitment to our mission of serving others and helping the communities we call home, Dollar General is working to help provide the needed resources to provide aid to those affected in Texas and Louisiana,” remarked Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO.
Target Corp. pledged a donation of $500,000 to aid in recovery efforts, with the money to be distributed to local and national disaster relief organizations, including the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Team Rubicon, an organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders.
“As a Houston-area resident, I’m so proud to see Target’s commitment to our teams and communities come to life,” observed John Sheehan, group vice president at Target. “Through these organizations, we’ll provide products, financial assistance and volunteers across the Gulf Coast. Our first priority is supporting our team, getting our stores back up and running and working with these organizations to help the community recover.”
Southeastern Grocers LLC and the Southeastern Grocers Foundation launched a community donation program to raise money for disaster relief. Through September 6, the company accepted donations from customers at its BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys and Winn-Dixie stores and at each organization’s dedicated website. “Every cent raised will go to the American Red Cross’ Disaster Relief to provide food, shelter, counseling and other assistance to tens of thousands of people after the unprecedented flooding that inundated neighborhoods,” the company said in a statement.
Publix Super Markets Inc. established a program to offer its customers and associates a way to assist those areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. Funds collected were to be channeled through the American Red Cross and designated specifically for the organization’s Hurricane Harvey relief program.
“Our customers and associates have trusted Publix to help those affected by tragic events,” noted Maria Brous, director of media and community relations. “We know many of our extended Publix family and friends are affected by this devastation, and we are committed to supporting them.”
Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets pledged a $75,000 donation for relief and recovery efforts in the region. This followed the announcement that the retailer would donate $50,000 to the American Red Cross and the promise that $25,000 worth of needed products would be delivered to people in need. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Texas who have been directly affected by Harvey’s devastation,” remarked Tom Lenkevich, Giant/Martin’s president.
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