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Companies stepping up with donations after Hurricane Laura

PHOTOS: Louisiana, Texas brace for 'catastrophic' Hurricane Laura
Posted at 5:04 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 15:50:42-04

Several companies have stepped up to help those affected by Hurricane Laura.

The Wells Fargo Foundation announced a donation of $25,000 to the American Red Cross to support Hurricane Laura relief efforts. The funds will go toward long-term recovery in Louisiana and the surrounding impacted areas.

“Our thoughts are with the many whose lives have been affected by Hurricane Laura,” said Wells Fargo’s Louisiana Community Relations Consultant Courtney Kemper. “This donation will support relief efforts to help the impacted areas recover and rebuild.”

"The recovery for those impacted by Hurricane Laura is not over,” said American Red Cross Regional CEO Joshua Joachim. “The recovery continues and will continue in the weeks and months to come, and the Red Cross is committed to being there. We appreciate our partners at Wells Fargo that responded to the needs, and make this recovery process possible. With their generous donation, individuals impacted by this disaster will receive the supplies, food, shelter, access to health and emotional support, and most importantly hope that they need during this trying time."

Wells Fargo is committed to providing support to customers, clients and employees affected by Hurricane Laura. For customers who contact Wells Fargo to advise they have been impacted, the bank can provide them up to 90-days of disaster relief to include potentially waiving or refunding late fees, suspending collection calls, suppressing negative credit reporting, and suspending new foreclosure referral or sale activities, based upon court approval. Wells Fargo customers can call 800-219-9739 or visit www.wellsfargo.com/recovery for more information.

Customers with severe property damage may also call the Wells Fargo Disaster Hotline at 888- 818-9147 to request a Home Recovery Kit. This kit contains the information customers need to work with contractors to be sure that their homes are properly repaired as well as the forms needed to expedite insurance claims. For Wells Fargo customers, when claim checks are issued by your insurance company, they will be made payable jointly to you and Wells Fargo. Customers can also receive information about endorsing and processing their claim check by calling the Disaster Hotline.

Community Coffee Company has committed to donating 10% of proceeds from the sales of Community® coffee and tea products in retail grocery locations in Louisiana and Texas through Oct. 31, 2020, up to $100,000, to support The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Laura relief efforts.

The Salvation Army’s mobile food pantries and meal programs have been stationed across the region since the storm made landfall on Aug. 27. Community Coffee Company has also been on the ground since the storm’s landfall, bringing its mobile beverage vehicles to serve fresh coffee to first responders, work crews and residents in impacted areas in and around Lake Charles, Louisiana.

“We have seen firsthand how this hurricane has affected our local communities, and we are humbled to play a role in the rebuilding efforts,” said Community Coffee Company CEO David Belanger. “We know that there’s still a long journey to recovery for the affected areas in Louisiana and Texas, and we’re committed to supporting these communities in the weeks and months to come.”

“We’re not just delivering food and water in these hard-hit communities — we’re bringing hope,” said Jeff Jellets, territorial disaster coordinator for The Salvation Army USA Southern Territory. “Donations like the one from Community Coffee will help us provide comfort, compassion and warm meals for storm-affected Texas and Louisiana residents in need.”

More information about Community Coffee Company’s hurricane relief efforts is available at https://www.communitycoffee.com/relief [communitycoffee.com].

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation has granted United Way of Southwest Louisiana a $1 million award to assist community members rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Laura. Funds will be used to meet immediate needs such as the distribution of essential supplies like cleaning products, food, clean water and shelter and for long-term recovery efforts which will evolve over time.

“The United Way was among the first to respond after the impact of Hurricane Laura,” Michael Tipton, Blue Cross Foundation president, said. “We have been encouraged by their response and are grateful for their leadership in attracting supplies, volunteers and other critical resources to support people throughout the region.”

Ann Knapp, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana board chair who calls Lake Charles home, added her praise for the grant.

“The damage here is devastating. These kinds of grants can ease the strain on people by keeping them healthily fed, in stable housing and more while they focus on rebuilding and resuming their lives.”

Denise Durel, United Way of Southwest Louisiana president and CEO, said funding from sources like Blue Cross allows the non-profit to be a continued trusted community ally.

“We will see things through to the very end until every individual and neighborhood is equipped with the necessary resources for true recovery,” she said. “Thanks to the incredibly generous $1 million donation from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, Southwest Louisiana can be confident that our best days are truly ahead!”

For more information on United Way of Southwest Louisiana’s Hurricane Laura recovery efforts visit, www.unitedwayswla.org/HurricaneLaura.

Shell Oil Company will contribute over $300,000 in donations from across its Louisiana lines of business to assist the relief and recovery efforts in Southwest Louisiana following Hurricane Laura.

Donations from Shell's Louisiana businesses includes:
· $40,000 donation to the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana
· $10,000 donation to the American Red Cross
· $25,000 donation to Second Harvest of Acadiana
· $50,000 donation to United Way of Southwest Louisiana
· $50,000 to stand up and deploy Shell volunteer clean up and rebuilding events
· $90,000 to provide shower stations and restroom trailers to hardest hit areas
· $10,000 to provide humanitarian supplies to hardest hit areas
· $35,000 to fund 2 activations of Shell volunteer cooking team to feed over 3,000 people in hardest hit areas

"Louisiana is one of the most critical regions areas Shell operates in globally. The state is home to all aspects of our business, ranging from retail gas stations, refining and chemical manufacturing, and remains the home and heartland of our Deepwater Gulf of Mexico exploration and production business," said Rhoman Hardy, Vice President, US Gulf Coast Manufacturing. Combined, these businesses directly employ more than 4,000 people, with another 4,000-plus Shell retirees calling Louisiana home. When one part of our state needs help, we respond, because this is our home too."

In addition to these contributions, Shell employees are also able to make donations to select non-profits in the region aimed at hurricane relief until September 15, through Shell's annual "Helping Everyone Reach Out" (HERO) program.

Goodwill Acadiana will donate 10 percent of all purchases made at their retail stores from Mon., Sept. 7 through Sat., Sept. 12. to Hurricane Laura survivors. Goodwill is partnering with Catholic Charities of Acadiana's Disaster Response Team in order to distribute the funds where needed. Anyone wishing to contribute to the disaster funds can visit any of Goodwill Acadiana's twelve retail or specialty stores throughout the six day period. Patrons may also contribute to the disaster relief fund via a monetary donation at any Goodwill retail store.

President and CEO Deacon Ed Boustany said, "We want to continue to build good relationships with other local nonprofits and knew that Catholic Charities would already have a good assessment of what resources were needed in the impacted areas. Our partnership allows for the pooling of our resources and creating a streamlined process to provide essentials to those most affected."

In addition to financial support for relief efforts, a heavily requested item needed by those in the storm's path is new tarps. Goodwill Acadiana put out an all-call to the entire Goodwill Industries International network requesting tarp donations from any Goodwill organization that had the ability to donate. If they are able to be located in the Acadiana area, brand-new tarps can be dropped off at any Goodwill Acadiana location including retail stores, donation centers, the Job Connection Center on Kaliste Saloom, and the corporate office. The tarps will be collected by Goodwill's team and transported to the appropriate locations.

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. and its employees are giving back care and aid to those impacted by Hurricane Laura that was offered to them during Hurricane Matthew in 2018. Executive VP/COO Ken Munroe said, “We all know very well the destruction that can be caused by hurricanes as we all lived it during Hurricane Michael. This is our time to return the favor to others who are suffering and to those people that helped us during our time of need.” Eastern and its employees have already loaded and shipped two truckloads of supplies to those in Southeast Louisiana and is looking to fill a third.

Chevron Corporation announced Friday, September 4, that it will donate a total of $500,000 and 8,000 gallons of fuel to assist those in Cameron and Calcasieu parishes affected by Hurricane Laura. The company is also coordinating employee supply drives, providing an additional $10,000 in gas gift cards, and matching employees’ charitable contributions.

To support the relief and recovery efforts following Hurricane Laura, Dollar General announced plans on Friday, September 4, to support the American Red Cross with a $50,000 corporate donation. The Company is also accepting in-store collections at more than 16,700 Dollar General stores now through September 11, 2020, to benefit the American Red Cross’s Hurricane Laura Relief efforts.

On Friday, Sept. 4, 7-Eleven Inc. will donate 3,200 cases of water, 3,200 bags of ice, snacks and hand sanitizer bottles to Lake Charles citizens affected by Hurricane Laura. FREE water, ice, snacks and hand sanitizer will be will be handed out starting at 1:00 pm at the 7-Eleven at 3201 Gerstner Memorial Drive in. Lake Charles. The items will be available while supplies last.

In order to help with the immediate response, recovery and rebuild from the impact of Hurricane Laura, Target is donating $750,000 to hurricane relief, including food banks in the area. Target’s donation will go toward organizations already mobilized in communities impacted by Laura to provide necessities like food, shelter and medicine to help those who are still without power and lacking basic infrastructure services like clean water.

The organizations include:

  • Target’s national disaster relief partners, the American Red Cross and Team Rubicon
  • The Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana
  • Food banks in some of the hardest hit areas, including,
    • Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont)
    • Second Harvest Greater New Orleans and Acadiana (Lafayette Branch)
    • Food Bank of Central Louisiana (Alexandria)
    • Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana (Shreveport)
    • Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana (Monroe)

In addition to helping the community, Target is also supporting its team members through its Emergency Assistance Fund, providing help to those who have sustained total house loss and general home damage. Target's store teams have also used Target GiftCards to help support local first responders and nonprofit organizations purchase needed supplies. Target stores in the region have all reopened. The company activated its hurricane preparedness and response plans in the wake of Hurricane Laura – prepping ahead of time to adjust for the impending storm and to account for changes needed due to the global pandemic. For instance, Target invested millions of additional dollars in hurricane supplies – pallets of water, batteries and flashlights—while continuing to account for coronavirus needs. For more on Target’s disaster preparedness plans, visit A Bullseye View.

The New Orleans Saints, Pelicans and the NFL Foundation announced today a $500,000 donation to provide relief to victims of Hurricane Laura, the most powerful storm to hit Louisiana in over 100 years. The Saints and Pelicans are working with three non-profits including Feeding Louisiana, Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana and the American Red Cross of Louisiana to actively support southwest Louisiana’s storm recovery efforts. In addition, the charitable proceeds of the New Orleans Saints virtual 50/50 Raffle from Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay (9/13) will be donated and divided among the three non-profits listed above.

"Since Hurricane Laura approached Southwest Louisiana, we have been very concerned about the safety and well-being of our neighbors to the west of us," says Saints Owner Gayle Benson. "While our thoughts and prayers are with those who are affected by this natural disaster, we also thank our first responders and volunteers for their tireless work, in helping the community begin the process of rebuilding and recovery. This campaign is a great opportunity for our fans to join our club in supporting three deserving non-profits that will play an integral role in the recovery of the area."

Next week, the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans will be launching a fundraiser to help raise funds for the three non-profits listed above. Fans that contribute to the fundraising campaign will have a chance at a unique opportunity to virtually participate with Saints players during the Sunday Night Football match-up against the Packers on September 27. More information on how to donate and the fundraiser will be announced at a later date.

UnitedHealthcare announced today it is donating $500,000 to the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana to help residents recover and rebuild following the devastating impact of Hurricane Laura.

“We are deeply concerned for the people affected by Hurricane Laura, and we are committed to helping the people in these local Louisiana communities recover and rebuild,” said Dirk McMahon, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare. “Many of these communities are also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, making this an especially challenging time for those who may have lost loved ones or been displaced as a result of the hurricane.”

“The devastation caused by Hurricane Laura affected thousands of people across parts of Louisiana,” said John Bel Edwards, Governor of Louisiana. “We are grateful for UnitedHealthcare’s commitment to the people of Louisiana and its support of the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana as we start to recover and rebuild from this hurricane.”

“We are grateful for UnitedHealthcare’s donation to our hurricane recovery work,” said Sara Judson, chief executive officer of the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana. “We’ll use the generous contribution to pay for immediate needs that are the first step of the long rebuilding process. We appreciate the outpouring of support we’ve received.”

The company has also taken steps to support health plan participants access care, early prescription refills, including the ability to conduct a Virtual Visit with a doctor* through the UnitedHealthcare smartphone app , and opened a free emotional-support help line to help people who might be affected. The Optum Helpline is free of charge to anyone in the community and is available toll-free at 866-342-6892, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company has also taken action to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its employees in affected areas, including supporting safe evacuations and providing recovery funding.

The ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery and distributor Lard Oil announced on Tuesday a combined donation of approximately 28,000 gallons of Synergy gasoline™ and Synergy Diesel Efficient ™ to support Hurricane Laura recovery efforts in the Lake Charles and Sulphur communities.

ExxonMobile says that the gasoline and diesel comes from the Baton Rouge refinery terminal, and Lard Oil will transport the fuel to the impacted areas for distribution to emergency responders.

“Leading up to Hurricane Laura and in the immediate aftermath of the storm, our Baton Rouge refinery and terminal continued to keep customers and communities across the region supplied with fuel,” said ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery Manager Gloria Moncada. “As soon as we learned of the need for fuel in Lake Charles and Sulphur, we made the commitment to help. I’m glad Lard Oil is joining with us to maximize this effort.”

“We are proud to join ExxonMobil in donating and transporting fuel to the first responders in Lake Charles and Sulphur,” said Lard Oil President and CEO Johnny Milazzo. “It’s an opportunity to give back to these communities where we live and serve.”

“We are grateful to ExxonMobil and Lard Oil for recognizing our community in this time of need. We are appreciative of your donation as we work to recover. We are staying strong, and our people are resilient,” said Sulphur Mayor Mike Danahay.

The fuel delivery process to Lake Charles and Sulphur emergency responders began on Sunday, Aug. 30, and will continue this week.

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