Pet supplies cataloger Doctors Foster & Smith donated $10,000 in cash to the Red Cross and $100,000 worth of pet food and carriers to the Houston SPCA shortly after Hurricane Katrina wreaked its havoc.
Henry Schein, a supplier of medical, dental, and veterinary products, shipped more than six tons of emergency medical supplies to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Apparel cataloger/retailer The Talbots donated $50,000 to the Red Cross, matching employee donations, and worked with Gifts in Kind International to distribute 54,000 units of children’s clothing to shelters housing Katrina victims.
Outdoor gear, apparel, and home goods merchant L.L. Bean gave $250,000 to its local Red Cross.
The Deluxe Corp. Foundation contributed $50,000 to the Red Cross and implemented a $100,000 challenge match to encourage employees and retirees of the checks and business-forms merchant to contribute.
Office Depot pledged $1 million to the Red Cross even before Katrina hit New Orleans. It subsequently offered New Orleans officials the contents of five stores, worth about $4 million, among other donations.
PC Mall is matching employee contributions to the Red Cross relief fund. It also offered businesses in the area extended credit terms, expedited shipping, and other services throughout September to help those companies rebuild more quickly.
Women’s apparel catalog Old Pueblo Traders, along with three retail chains owned by its parent company, Charming Shoppes, donated 200,000 units of apparel and shoes.
They are just a few of those in the industry reaching out to help the hundreds of thousands hurt by the hurricane. Unlike former first lady (and mother of the current president) Barbara Bush, they understand that things are not “working out well” for those caught in the path and wake of Katrina. (Upon touring the Houston Astrodome in early September, when it was crowded with evacuees, Bush said Sept. 5 on National Public Radio’s Marketplace program: “So many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this — this,” she chuckled slightly, “is working very well for them.”)
I’m not going to be pompous and close this note with a “thanks for your efforts” or “I commend all of you for giving.” The fact is, there’s really no appropriate way to end this column, as the disaster in the Gulf Coast area itself is far from over.