In light of all the tragedies affecting Texas, Louisiana, and Florida summoned by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, many businesses are doing what they can to provide relief to victims. Several are offering charitable donations, while others are offering special prices and discounts on services to provide victims with affordable methods to stay safe. Many companies are also matching employee donations (1 to 1 and sometimes 2 to 1), so ask your employee if they are doing anything to assist. Take a look at what some companies are doing to help:
JetBlue: Until September 13th, the airline was offering discounted nonstop flights of $99 and connecting flights of $159 out of Florida so victims can afford to evacuate safely. Other nearby airports also offered flights at this cost via JetBlue.
Hyundai, General Motors, Kia, Fiat, etc.: Plenty of automakers are offering discounts of $500 to $750 on new 2017 and 2018 car models. However, they do require that buyers present insurance claims as a result of hurricane damage to qualify for this offer. Most programs last until January 2, 2018.
BBVA Compass: For their affected customers, BBVA is waiving late fees, 0% promo purchase APR, and loan payment deferral programs and assistance.
Ashley Furniture HomeStore: The company is donating products and subsidizing discounts with a combined retail value of over $1 million in each state of Texas and Florida. They are also hosting flood drives to gather personal hygiene products, food, and monetary donations for more assistance.
Airbnb: Airbnb is encouraging hosts in Texas and Louisiana to offer their homes for free from now until September 25th. Over 800 hosts have opted in. For more information and how those in need can find a place to stay via Airbnb, click here.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Even the IRS is participating in hurricane relief efforts. They recently announced that victims have been granted extensions on certain individual and business tax returns and tax payments that need to be made.To read the press release, click here. For more information on specific dates and relief by Hurricane Harvey and Irma, click here.
1. Donate money.
If you are able to offer monetary donations, there are innumerable charities that are waiting with open arms. They are helping victims, the repairing of cities and homes, and more of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Business Insider put together great lists of the best charities to donate to for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. The Salvation Army is a great place to start for monetary donations.
It is worthwhile to note that if donating to any GoFundMe pages, beware of fake accounts. Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who are trying to take advantage of others’ hardships, so always do your research before you donate. GoFundMe has a designated support page for Hurricane Irma relief, and you can check it out here.
2. Donate blood.
Many requests for blood donations have been made in the wake of both hurricanes, and now, especially Hurricane Irma. In a recent press release, Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood or platelets in unaffected areas of the country to help ensure a sufficient supply of blood. Platelet and type O blood donations are highest in demand right now. Learn more here by clicking here and here.
3. Offer temporary housing.
As previously mentioned above, Airbnb is encouraging hosts to offer free temporary housing to hurricane victims and allowing displaced people to find shelter by searching for listings that state “From $0.” HomeAway is also offering free or discounted temporary housing for displaced victims. Service fees are also waived until October 1st.
4. Donate food, clothing, and supplies.
Many organizations are coordinating with local food banks and shelters to gather food, personal hygiene products, medical supplies, baby items, pet supplies and food, and more to help victims. They are encouraging people to bring non-perishable food and even things that offer entertainment to the many displaced. This includes toys, coloring books, and the like. Places to consider:
5. Dine at restaurants.
A long list of restaurants are offering customers ways to donate food, money, and more via the restaurant. While many are already pledging large sums of monetary donations, they are also allowing customers and employees to raise funds (and oftentimes matching those donations) and to donate meals. Some restaurants are even inviting First Reponders to dine free for their service. Check out participating restaurants on this list from QSR magazine.