05 Sep Good360 Activates Partnerships to Respond to Hurricane Harvey’s Historic Devastation
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Good360 has mobilized its network of private and public partnerships to respond to a multitude of immediate and long-term needs facing devastated communities on the ground.
The long struggle toward full recovery is only just beginning for survivors of Harvey, the most destructive storm to hit the U.S. in more than a decade.
Nearly 200,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged, and some 364,000 people have registered for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to government estimates. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to evacuate, while shelters in Texas swelled with more than 42,000 displaced residents.
From our experience with other major catastrophes, we know that many of these families will face shifting needs and challenges as they transition from the massive clean-up phase to the long-term recovery, which will likely last for years. A full 80 percent of homes in Texas aren’t covered by flood insurance, and about 22 percent of the Houston population lives below the poverty line.
“We are focused on making sure that we get the right goods to the right people at the right time through every stage of the recovery process,” said Tiffany Everett, Director of Disaster Recovery for Good360. “We are communicating very closely with nonprofit organizations in the region so we can match their needs with what our corporate partners can offer, both in the short-term and for the long-term recovery. The historic level of devastation brought by Hurricane Harvey means we’ll be working in these communities and helping them to rebuild for years to come.”
Immediately after Harvey ravaged huge swaths of Texas and Louisiana, we partnered with The UPS Foundation to begin a rapid response effort to move eight semi-truckloads of critically needed supplies such as wipes, gloves, and sanitizer to the region. In addition, as part of its $1 million pledge for relief efforts, UPS is providing Good360 with $150,000 in funding and in-kind support as our organization responds to this disaster now and into the future.
“In this time of enormous need, it is critical to establish and support extensive networks of public-private partnerships to get aid to those who need it, as quickly as possible,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation. “At the same time, setting aside funding and other resources for long-term recovery efforts is also important, and we are laying that groundwork as well.”
Also partnering with Good360 in the long-term recovery effort is Tempur Sealy International, which has committed $1 million in mattress donations for victims in need. New bedding is a critical resource after a major flood because submerged mattresses can harbor mold, bacteria and toxins, and must be thrown out.
But many families struggle during rebuilding to set aside the funds needed to buy high-quality mattresses while they try to replace many other household goods.
“We know that the top priority right now is ensuring the safety of those affected by the hurricane,” said Scott Thompson, Tempur Sealy Chairman and CEO. “But in the coming months, the hard work of rebuilding lives, homes and the community will begin and will go on for years. We want the people of the region to know that we are committed to helping them rebuild.”
Our long-time partnership with Tempur Sealy has helped thousands of families to begin the rebuilding process following major disasters, including past disaster recovery efforts in Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and others.
Domtar Corporation is also stepping in to provide another critically needed item for recovering families: diapers. We are distributing 135,000 baby diapers in Houston and other cities where people have found shelter.
“We hope that this contribution will meet a simple but essential need for families and children who have had to leave their homes,” said Heather Stowe, Domtar’s corporate social responsibility manager.
Hurricane Harvey’s torrential rains and high floodwaters forced tens of thousands of people to seek the safety of makeshift shelters. For children especially, it can be a traumatizing experience to flee their homes under such chaotic circumstances. That’s why we partnered with The Hasbro Children’s Fund to provide PlayRelief kits designed to help bring some sense of normalcy to children affected by disasters.
The kits include a number of classic Hasbro board games such Chutes and Ladders, Trouble, Sorry and Scrabble, and are distributed to emergency shelters as families begin their recovery. These games provide some fun, a sense of community, and a welcome distraction to children who may be facing weeks, if not, months of uncertainty.
Hasbro’s PlayRelief kits were also distributed by Good360 in the wake of Hurricane Matthew and the Louisiana floods of 2016.
In addition to the in-kind donations, several of our partners have stepped up with generous cash donations or other contributions.
- American Eagle Outfitters announced it was donating $100,000 to Good360, tweeting that the “rain in Texas may have stopped, but the work is just beginning.” The company also encouraged customers to make their own donations.
- Dollar Days donated 5 percent of proceeds from one week of sales through September 3 to support our disaster recovery efforts.
- Restoration Hardware has launched an employee contribution matching initiative and has earmarked furniture donations for the area.
- Burt’s Bees, Regis, Red Wing Shoes, Spartan Chemical, Casper, AIT Worldwide Logistics, FTD, Gap Inc., 3M, Hain Celestial, Batten Trailer Leasing, Levi’s, Crate & Barrel, DXL Group, Equiparts, Rockline Industries, Serta Simmons, Nike, Crayola, and BMC Mattress have all provided support through cash and/or donations of products and services.
In a disaster of this scale, no single nonprofit, company or even federal agency can make as much impact as many organizations working together to support the years-long rebuilding process. Good360 has long served as the critical bridge between nonprofit organizations with product needs and corporations with resources to give.
“For years, we’ve been working to build up our capacity to respond to disasters on the scale of Hurricane Harvey,” said Good360 CEO Howard Sherman. “With our large network of nonprofits and companies, and our DisasterRecovery360 platform, we’re in a unique position to provide much needed assistance in disaster recovery. We’re proud to be able to do our part at such a critical time.”