Corporations and foundations across the East Coast have stepped up their giving to support communities affected by Hurricane Irene, which the Associated Press reports caused some $7.2 billion in damage in eight states, based on a preliminary estimate by the Kinetic Analysis Corporation.
Grantmakers that have pledged funds directly to the American Red Cross include the Reynolds American Foundation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which announced that it would match contributions by Reynolds American employees for hurricane relief on a one-to-one basis in addition to a $250,000 donation to the organization, and JPMorgan Chase, which said it would split its $200,000 contribution to hurricane relief efforts between the ARC in Greater New York and the national organization. In addition, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation pledged $250,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Fund for the 2011 hurricane season and said it would match employee donations to relief efforts through its matching gift program.
Elsewhere, Lowe's pledged $1 million for disaster relief and rebuilding efforts in communities affected by the storm. The commitment comes on the heels of a $1 million donation from the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation to help rebuild schools in areas affected by natural disasters this year and $1 million from the company for communities in Missouri, Alabama, and North Carolina that experienced flooding and a series of devastating tornadoes in April.
"We're making this commitment nationally, regionally, and locally to help families rebuild their lives and meet the critical needs in the hardest-hit communities," said Lowe's chairman, president, and CEO Robert A. Niblock. "This has been a record-setting year for disasters across the country, and Lowe's will continue to provide funding, supplies, and volunteers whenever possible."