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Retailers and Banks Leverage Fundraising Power, Raising More Than $130 Million for Hurricane Relief


American Red Cross witnesses nearly 100 percent growth in number of customer donation programs

WASHINGTON, Friday, February 24, 2006 — Millions of Americans gave generously to the American Red Cross to help the survivors of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, and one of their preferred methods of donating was at local retail stores and banks. The Red Cross saw an astounding 100 percent increase in the number of retail stores and banks participating in the Your Help Counts customer donation programs, raising more than $130 million. This is in addition to the money raised from products and other cause marketing efforts.

The success is heartwarming, yet not surprising to researchers – research shows that 77 percent of Americans want to help those affected in times of disaster, 71 percent of those think of the American Red Cross and a remarkable 41 percent of Red Cross donors’ preferred method of donating is at a local business (ORC International survey, 2003).

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. is a longtime customer donation program partner of the Red Cross, which has repeatedly had excellent results. “Lowe’s is committed to recognizing and supporting efforts that help our neighbors and customers,” said Larry Stone, chairman of Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “No time is this support more important than following natural disasters. Since Lowe’s launched its customer donation program in 2000, thanks to the generosity and cooperation of our customers and vendor partners, we have raised nearly $16 million for American Red Cross disaster relief efforts.”

During the height of the hurricane relief efforts, the Red Cross had 93 customer donation programs nationwide. (For a full list of these partners, see below.) Consumers could walk down the street and easily find a caring company that shared their interest in Red Cross support – from their bank to the grocery store to the video store and pharmacy. Online partners such as, AOL, Apple’s iTunes Music Store and Yahoo! also continued their leadership by offering customers the opportunity to donate online to the Red Cross. In comparison, the Red Cross had 46 customer donation programs raising $43 million for the tsunami relief efforts and 27 customer donation partners, raising $3 million for the 2004 hurricane relief efforts.

“We are grateful to our corporate friends who provide their customers an opportunity to give to the Red Cross through the Your Help Counts customer donation program,” said Kathleen Loehr, senior vice president for development at the American Red Cross. “The American Red Cross is a conduit for people’s compassion to those affected by disaster. Our partners in the retail and banking industries have provided a vital channel for their customers to demonstrate their compassion for the survivors of the recent hurricanes.”

The Your Help Counts program allows retailers and banks to serve as official cash donation sites immediately following disasters, enabling their customers to support Red Cross relief efforts during their everyday errands. Companies can sign up for the program for one year and be prepared in advance to implement the program within 24-48 hours of a disaster occurring. Due to the increasing response and success of the program, the Red Cross will be creating an online resource where companies can conveniently register to participate and automatically agree to logo regulations, financial disclosures and Better Business Bureau standards for fundraising. To learn more, please contact the Corporate Partnerships and Cause Marketing national office at

Companies that implemented the Your Help Counts customer donation program for American Red Cross hurricane relief follow. *Companies with a total cash contribution of $1 million or more are denoted with an asterisk. Many companies also provided in-kind donations to support the relief effort.

(Please note that this does not include those generous companies that sold products or services to benefit the Red Cross. For a partial list of such companies, please click here:

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is where people mobilize to help their neighbors—across the street, across the country, and across the world—in emergencies. Each year, in communities large and small, victims of some 70,000 disasters turn to neighbors familiar and new--the nearly one million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross. Through almost 900 locally supported chapters, more than 15 million people gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their homes, communities and world. Some four million people give blood—the gift of life—through the Red Cross, making it the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. And the Red Cross helps thousands of U.S. service members separated from their families by military duty stay connected. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a global network of 181 national societies, the Red Cross helps restore hope and dignity to the world’s most vulnerable people. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.


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