As record tornadoes and flooding have been devastating the Midwest and neighboring states in recent weeks, retailers have stepped in to help in rescue efforts.
Walmart, Sam’s Club and Walmart.org, for example, have committed $1 million across the Midwest and South in relief efforts. The donation provides cash grants to the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and Save the Children and includes product donations.
Home Depot as of this week had sent more than 100 truckloads of essential products to aid in the cleanup of affected communities.
In the middle of crisis and devastation it serves to remind us that at the heart of retail is people. The retail industry is not only about meeting the needs of everyday consumers but often demonstrating its commitment to comforting victims and giving back to the communities it serves.
The charity goes well beyond natural disasters and includes contributions made here in Washington State:
- During last February’s historic snowfall, Lowe’s Bremerton store donated $500 in waterproof gloves to allow the Kitsap County Rescue Mission to help homeless people keep warm. Last year, the company pledged $4 million in disaster relief support for victims of Hurricane Michael in the Gulf Coast states.
- Ben Bridge Jeweler contributes more than $450,000 annually to non-profit ventures in and around the communities it serves. It requires suppliers to certify that materials in the jewelry it buys comply with laws regarding slavery and human trafficking in the countries where suppliers do business. The company also takes employee donations on Friday “dress down” casual days and shares it with charities of an employee’s choice.
- Target stores have contributed more than 447 million pounds of food to local food banks around the country since 2005.
- Mud Bay, supplier of pets and their owners, partners with animal shelters in Washington and Oregon to get adopted pets off to a healthy start in their new homes. Every dog or cat adopted from a partner shelter is sent home with a copy of the company’s Healthy Guide for Dogs or Cats and a $20 coupon for free litter or a pound of bulk biscuits.
- Starbucks is part of a national effort and is on track to hire more than 25,000 service veterans and military spouses by 2025 and has already hired 65,000 people ages 16 to 24.
These examples are just a small sampling of how retailers across the nation and throughout Washington State are supporting the families they employ and communities they serve.