BENTONVILLE, Ark.(KLFY)–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. 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.
“Our Texas family of customers and associates are experiencing devastating impact from this storm,” said Doug McMillon, President and CEO 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.”
“In the midst of the worst storm this region has ever seen, it is wonderful to see corporate partners such as Walmart step up and help Houstonians,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We are rebuilding and with these funds we will be able to help Houstonians return to normality. I would like to thank Walmart President and CEO, Doug McMillon for his generosity and challenge others to join in this effort.”
To help those in need, Walmart is launching a customer campaign with the American Red Cross to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief. As part of the customer campaign, Walmart is matching customer donations two to one with cash and product donations of up to $10 million to support American Red Cross disaster relief.
Walmart’s initial focus will be on mega-shelters, providing items to meet basic needs, such as water, infant formula, diapers, underwear and personal hygiene products. We will also aim to increase comfort in these shelters by providing items such as TVs, DVDs, games and stuffed animals for children and healthy snacks, such as fresh fruit.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will also give additional cash and product donations totaling $10 million to support the Salvation Army, Feeding America, Convoy of Hope, Team Rubicon and the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, as well as other organizations assisting food distribution, sheltering and cleanup efforts.
This commitment is an increase from the previously announced $1 million of in-kind donations for immediate relief. In addition, local stores in the Gulf region have provided food, merchandise and other supplies, such as baby formula, batteries and kayaks to first responders, the National Guard, police and fire departments, churches and shelter organizations. Additional relief efforts include:
- Working to open our affected stores as quickly as possible. Texas is home to nearly 600 Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs serving millions of customers and employing more than 169,000 associates. As of this release, 45 stores in affected counties have been reopened.
- Centralizing relief efforts through the Walmart Emergency Operations Center (EOC) which operates 24 hours a day in tracking storm impacts and supporting our associates needs and well-being. The EOC also facilitates store recovery, and is supporting community relief efforts in the Gulf region. This includes shipments of emergency supplies to multiple shelter operations in the area.
- Working to help our associates in the impacted 16 counties of Texas. We’ve received calls from more than 11,000 associates and are helping in various capacities, such as access to earned wage and disaster support assistance, setting up support centers in the impacted areas, providing hot meals to families and proactively calling associates to conduct wellness checks.
- Shipping more than 1,060 truckloads to the impacted areas, including over 930 truckloads of water.
- Committing support to the George R. Brown Convention Center sheltering operation in Houston through truckloads of food and water and small comforts like board games, TVs, clothing and every day essentials.
- Launching a mobile pharmacy staffed with Walmart pharmacists in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, with another pharmacy being sent to Houston to provide prescription related counseling at no cost to evacuees.
- Providing subject matter experts in logistics and emergency management to assist local emergency operations centers and with establishing local shelters.
Walmart will continue to deliver water and emergency supplies to the areas in greatest need throughout the region; including cleaning supplies, pet food, batteries, diapers, baby formula, hand sanitizer, first aid supplies, fans, generators, candles, flashlights, propane, rainwear, tarps, gas cans and related items.
Walmart has a long history of providing aid in times of disasters, helping communities prepare and recover by donating emergency supplies, such as food and water, home and personal products. Since 2005, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated more than $60 million in cash and in-kind donations in response to disaster events.