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Retailers rally to help Houston, Florida recover from hurricanes


water convoy

A convoy of trucks brings one million bottles of water to Florida from Home Depot.


Ever since hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit the Houston area and the State of Florida, respectively,  retailers have been involved in round-the-clock efforts to reopen their stores and donate funds and the time of employees to help the needy recover and restore their lives as soon as possible.

Companies including Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Starbucks and Google are among the response group assisting flood victims and first responders.

Walmart has been posting regular updates on its Walmart Today blog. Employees have been volunteering to gather and send supplies where they are needed most. The company has pledged $30 million in relief efforts including support of Red Cross Shelters and the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund of the Greater Houston Community Foundation. Among other efforts, more than 100 Walmart employees have been staffing a round-the-clock Emergency Operations Center to coordinate relief efforts throughout the country.

Home Depot has announced $2 million in hurricane relief this season. The company sent a convoy of trucks to Florida bringing one million bottles of water, plywood and other disaster relief supplies.

Celebrities and sports stars also have been moved to help by making donations and raising funds. Actress Sandra Bullock had donated $1 million to help flood victims while Houston Texans football star J.J. Watt has helped generate millions of dollars for the Houston Floor Relief Fund.

Here is additional relief information supplied by other retailers:

  • Sears has teamed up with the American Red Cross to help raise funds to support needy families. Kmart and Sears stores are accepting donations at checkout. Look here for more information.
  • REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke has issued this message to employees outlining how the company is helping with relief and its further plans.
  • 7-Eleven stores has pledged $150,000 in relief to the American Red Cross and has donated 4,800 cases of water for free distribution in Florida. The company also is encouraging customers to financially support American Red Cross relief efforts. Read more here.
  • Owners of Everett Mall are matching all relief contributions from employees. General Manager Glen Bachman and his wife donated to Walmart, which is matching donations.
  • Amazon and Whole Foods announced a $1 million match for donations made via Amazon to the American Red Cross. The company also is pulling critically-needed items from its inventory to donate to first responders.
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