B of A, Walmart Foundation, American Airlines commit relief and funds for Haiti relief effort

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Foundations, corporations pledge Haiti relief

Businesses and other groups across the country on Wednesday committed millions of dollars and gave supplies and other aid to relief efforts for victims of the earthquake that has ravaged Haiti.

Amazon.com has added a box on its home page that customers can click to donate to the Haiti relief efforts of Mercy Corps, and anyone with a cell phone can donate $10 to the American Red Cross by sending a text message with the word “HAITI” to 90999.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck just west of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, and it is feared thousands have died. President Barack Obama has promised an all-out rescue and humanitarian effort.

Bank of America Corp. will give $1 million and the Walmart Foundation $600,000 to help victims of the earthquake that hit Tuesday. American Airlines is flying in relief supplies and grocers and other companies are donating funds and products, the organizations said Wednesday.

Coca-Cola Co.’s charitable arm is donating $1 million to American Red Cross efforts in Haiti, and it donating bottled water and other drinks through its bottler in the Dominican Republic.

The UPS Foundation is giving $500,000 in cash and up to $500,000 in shipping services to the effort, split among various relief organizations, including the American Red Cross and UNICEF.

Drugmaker Abbott Laboratories and its philanthropic foundation are providing $1 million in grant funding and donations of pharmaceutical and nutritional products.

Other pledges include $100,000 each from Publix Super Markets Charities, Wells Fargo & Co., TD Bank Financial Group and the charitable arm of auto maker General Motors, $25,000 from the Kraft Foods Foundation and 100,000 pairs of shoes from Soles4Souls Inc., a charity in Nashville, Tenn. The Walt Disney Co. said it would donate $100,000 to the Red Cross.

The Western Union Co. said it would give $250,000 to earthquake relief efforts and said its agents won’t charge transfer fees to anyone sending money to Haiti from the U.S., Canada and France for seven days after service is re-established throughout the country.

Web design and hosting company Go Daddy sent a check for $500,000 Wednesday to Hope for Haiti, an organization focusing on education, nutrition and health care. Cereal maker Kellogg Co. pledged $250,000 to the American Red Cross.

Bank of America, Kellogg, Western Union and other companies said they also will match donations its employees make.

Half of Bank of America’s $1 million commitment covers a grant to the American Red Cross for the Haitian Relief and Development Fund. The other $500,000 will cover long-term recovery, including restoring basic medical services and rebuilding homes and schools.

American Airlines parent AMR Corp. said it will award 250 bonus miles to customers who give the American Red Cross $50-plus and 500 to those who donate $100-plus, from Thursday through Feb. 28.

Three American Eagle aircraft arrived in devastated Port-au-Prince on Wednesday with 30,000 pounds of water, food and other nonperishable goods. Three relief missions also are planned Thursday and three more Friday.

The Walmart Foundation said it plans to give $500,000 in cash plus food kits worth $100,000, both through the American Red Cross.

The foundation also launched a Web site at walmartstores.com/haiti, where customers and employees can donate to nonprofits that are helping Haitian victims of the natural disaster.

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