Hurricane Harvey has traumatized southeastern Texas. With unprecedented rainfall, there are many people who need urgent help. The competitive retail market can be difficult and wonderful all at the same time. We see (time and time again) that when human needs emerge, retailers are often among the first to lend a desperately needed hand. Within a few days, retail businesses pledged over $72 million to Harvey relief efforts while others gathered goods and clothing to bridge the immediate gap for human comfort.
We are proud to see American retailers pulling together to support Texans. There is a long list of retailers who are pledging their help, working together to ease the suffering in Texas. For example, Bass Pro Shops sent rescue boats to help reach flooded communities, while the Bank of America’s Charitable Foundation made a $1 million commitment to help those suffering from the storms.
A particularly creative response to the need for temporary housing came from a furniture store in the Houston area, Gallery Furniture. The furniture retailer saw the opportunity to help the community by turning showrooms into shelters. The 160,000 sq. ft. showroom is filled with towels, shoes, clothes, toys and (of course) furniture for evacuees and rescuers to use as needed. Another great contributor is H-E-B Grocery Stores who rolled out a disaster relief convoy, including fifteen vehicles carrying two mobile kitchens, water and fuel tankers, portable generators, emergency grocery supplies and equipment. They are also providing a fully equipped H-E-B pharmacy and mobile business services unit to help people get important medications and access their bank accounts through an ATM.
It is no mystery that retail companies are passionate about their industry and work hard to run their businesses efficiently. It is inspiring to see these companies apply the same passion and energy to the well-being of Americans who are suffering great, unexpected loss. We are proud to work alongside many of these gifted retailers, supporting their efforts each step of the way.