American Red Cross Disaster Relief Made Possible by Corporations of All Sizes

The American Red Cross is one of the most recognizable charities in the United States. They are an essential resource in Disaster Relief, Blood Donations, International Aid, Military Family Support, and Lifesaving Training & Certifications for Companies. With a mission to “help prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies,” the Red Cross has earned tremendous amounts of both personal and corporate support for their important work. 

As the country’s largest humanitarian organization, The American Red Cross accumulates donations exceeding $2.8 billion each year and is proud to say that 90% of all donations go towards delivering care and comfort, and only 10% to program costs. This impressive ratio has earned them some of the highest possible rankings from charity watchdog organizations such as Charity Navigator.

Natural disasters in the United States are estimated to cause over $140 billion of damage each year, and the death toll and psychological trauma due to hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, and wildfires mean that the toll on our communities is even greater. You may be interested in which companies support organizations like The Red Cross, and their extensive efforts to help those who have been affected by disasters.

The American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) is divided into tiers of companies: those that give in excess of $1 million; $500,000; and $250,000. Some of the most recognized companies contribute $1 million, including Amazon, Delta Air Lines, The Home Depot Foundation, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, and The Walt Disney Company.

While monetary donations are a key part of what makes the American Red Cross run, there are so many important ways that individuals and companies can contribute to their mission. Here are a few standout stories.

2022 ‘Corporate Hero’ Sam Lionberger and Lionberger Construction Company

Sam Lionberger is the CEO of Lionberger Construction Company, which is based in Roanoke, Virginia. But in addition to his for-profit work, Lionberger is a dedicated Southwest Chapter board member for The Red Cross.

Since coming on board with The Red Cross four years ago, Lionberger has made some major contributions: he purchased a Life-Saving Red Cross vehicle, which delivers blood and blood platelets to hospitals and brings equipment to blood drives; he and an executive committee have organized dozens of blood drives in the face of a nationwide blood shortage, and he has secured over $25,000 in sponsorship for Red Cross events for the last three years.

Lionberger is a perfect example of how no business or business owner is too small to make big contributions.

The Red Cross & Coca-Cola Company: Over 100 Years of Partnership

In 2017, The Coca-Cola Company celebrated the 100-year anniversary of its partnership with The American Red Cross through financial support, beverage donations, employee volunteerism, and the sharing of marketing assets, expertise, and more. 

The Coca-Cola Company and its charity, The Coca-Cola Foundation, are able to do much more than write checks when disaster strikes. Because of their long-term relationship with The Red Cross, they are able to offer a veritable army of employee volunteers along with supply chain capabilities and promotional and advertising muscle. Coca-Cola customers can easily donate to The Red Cross and employees are given quarterly opportunities to donate blood.

Melaleuca, a Long-Term Partner

Health and wellness online retailer Melaleuca has partnered closely with The American Red Cross since it founded the Melaleuca Foundation in 2001. With disaster relief as one of Melaleuca’s points of emphasis for charitable giving, these donations to The American Red Cross are a natural fit.

Melaleuca was so involved in its response to Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters that the American Red Cross awarded it the Circle of Humanitarians Award and the 2020 Corporate Partner of the Year for the Idaho/Montana chapter. Not only has Melaleuca donated millions in money and wellness products, but they have also collected and shipped clothing, food, blankets, water, and children’s toys to victims of catastrophe. 

Melaleuca founder Frank VanderSloot personally visited hurricane shelters in New Orleans and asked victims how he could best be of assistance to them. At one shelter, Frank met a family of four who had lost everything after Hurricane Katrina. Feeling a profound sense of compassion, Frank invited the family to return with him to Idaho and stay in the VanderSloot house until they could rebuild their home in the Lower 9th Ward. After looking around the shelter and weighing their prospects, they agreed to accept the stranger’s offer. Frank helped the family immediately find work in Idaho, and the Crawford family lived with the VanderSloots for two years. They have become the best of friends.

In addition to monetary support, VanderSloot sent truckloads, planeloads, and cargo ships full of Melaleuca products to help families following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Melaleuca also helped buy an emergency vehicle and a bloodmobile for the American Red Cross. Recently, Melaleuca stepped up to provide support after Hurricane Ian ravaged southwest Florida and Typhoon Ophelia devastated the Philippines.  

Walgreens Stepped Up During Busy 2017 Season

2017 brought devastating Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, affecting Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Walgreens offered incredible support in several different ways: customers contributed over $18 million to the Red Cross through donations at store checkouts; Walgreens made individual commitments of $650,000 to aid in disaster recovery efforts; Walgreens also donated food items, first aid, and medical equipment including blood pressure cuffs, glucometer strips, catheters and transport wheelchairs to the Red Cross emergency shelter in Houston; and aid was sent to Puerto Rico that included first-aid and medical items, donated trailers of water and food, and EmergenC and sunscreen.

Since being founded by nurse Clara Barton in 1881, The American Red Cross has remained dedicated to helping people in need. Thanks in part to their generous corporate sponsors, as well as their volunteer teams, they have succeeded in educating people that they “Have the Power to Save a Life.” Their fundamental principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality truly define what the organization is about. 

Thanks to strong corporate partnerships, The American Red Cross can continue its good work for years to come.

Jennifer Wilkens

Jennifer has a degree in communications from Utah Valley University and enjoys writing business and financial news articles. She loves snowboarding and spending time with her two kids.

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