Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have announced a combined pledge of up to $20 million in support of Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, the largest commitment to date to address needs created by the devastating storm, which dumped trillions of gallons of water on southeastern Texas and parts of coastal Louisiana over the past week and caused catastrophic flooding in and around Houston.
The commitment by the country's largest retailer includes $10 million in support of American Red Cross shelters and $2 million in support of the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at the Greater Houston Community Foundation (GHCF). As part of a customer-facing campaign, Walmart also will match customer contributions two-for-one with cash and product donations of up to $10 million. The company's initial focus will be on making sure that mega-shelters in the region are able to meet the demand for basic items such as water, infant formula, diapers, underwear, and personal hygiene products. And, with an eye to making shelters more comfortable for the thousands who may need them for the foreseeable future, the company also will provide items such as TVs, DVDs, games, and stuffed animals for children, as well as healthy snacks, including fresh fruit.
As of 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, an analysis by Foundation Center had identified pledges and commitments, primarily from corporations and their foundations, totaling nearly $120.8 million for relief and recovery efforts in the region, including fifty-five gifts of at least $1 million. The the majority of the largest corporate pledges and commitments were directed to the American Red Cross, with groups like the Salvation Army, the United Way of Greater Houston, and GHCF also receiving multiple six- and seven-figure commitments.
"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 Houston mayor Sylvester Turner. "We are rebuilding, and with these funds we will be able to help Houstonians return to normality."