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News > Fortune 500
Corporations give to tsunami relief
From planes to pills, the world's largest companies offer millions in cash, donations and services.
December 31, 2004: 10:42 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Corporations reached out to help the victims of Sunday's earthquake-triggered tsunamis in southern Asia. (up $0.21 to $45.18, Research) posted links on Web sites to the International Federation of the Red Cross immediately after the underwater earthquake off the Indonesian coast triggered tsunamis that will claim well over 120,000 lives and has raised more than $3.8 million in disaster relief aid.

According to the site, 60,000 online donations totaling $3.5 million had been collected by Wednesday evening and contributions topped $3.8 million by Thursday.

EBay (up $0.09 to $117.86, Research) users can give to eight aid organizations through the Web site. Sellers on eBay can also sell items through the company's eBay "giving works" program and donate 10 to 100 percent of the proceeds to one of the eight charities.

Microsoft (up $0.08 to $26.84, Research) founder Bill Gates is giving money through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, pledging an initial $3 million to nongovernmental organizations.

Starbucks (down $0.07 to $62.57, Research) has made an initial contribution of $100,000 to international relief organizations CARE and Oxfam UK.

The coffee chain will also donate $2 for every pound of Sumatra, Decaf Sumatra and Aged Sumatra whole bean coffee purchased in January at its stores in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany.

More companies will be asked to give, said USAID Director Andrew Natsios at a State Department briefing Wednesday.

"We started a thing called the Global Developmental Alliance -- Secretary [of State Colin] Powell announced it in 2001," Natsios added, "and we now have 200 alliances between AID [Agency for International Development], foundations in the U.S. and nontraditional corporate donors who want to give their corporate money."

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. (down $0.01 to $27.00, Research) said it will give $10 million to local and international relief organizations as well as $25 million worth of healthcare products, including anti-infective products Zithromax, Zyvox and Diflucan and will match contributions by its employees.

"In addition to our financial contribution and product donations, we are ensuring that Pfizer colleagues with the needed medical and technical skills are available to assist with the relief effort," said Hank McKinnell, Pfizer chairman and chief executive officer.

Supply support

In addition to direct contributions to relief organizations, other companies are giving much-needed supplies and technical support as millions around the Indian Ocean scramble for food and clean water.

Aftershocks are still rattling devastated areas and the World Health Organization says disease could kill as many people as the tsunamis themselves.

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Coca-Cola (up $0.15 to $41.80, Research) said it is coordinating with governmental and nongovernmental agencies to provide bottled drinking water, basic foodstuffs, medical supplies, survival kits, transportation and distribution assistance, along with money, clothes and tents.

PepsiCo, Inc. (up $0.24 to $52.49, Research) is providing water and soft drinks as well as donating $1 million in financial assistance.

Johnson & Johnson (down $0.12 to $63.43, Research) is sending six, 10-foot-by-10-foot shipping containers of first aid equipment, medicine and other medical supplies, while Sears (up $0.18 to $51.55, Research) subsidiary Lands' End is donating $200,000 worth of merchandise.

"Entire villages have been washed away. This isn't just a situation of giving out food and water. Entire towns and villages need to be rebuilt from the ground up," Rod Volway, program manager for CARE, Canada's Emergency Response Team, told Reuters.

AmeriCares, which is providing pharmaceutical and medical supplies, has received donations from firms including Abbott Labs (down $0.18 to $46.74, Research), Baxter (down $0.06 to $34.53, Research), Hospira (down $0.04 to $33.51, Research), Glaxo Smith-Kline (down $0.54 to $46.89, Research), Proctor & Gamble (down $0.28 to $55.17, Research), Purdue Pharmaceutical, Tyco (down $0.31 to $35.65, Research) and the Altria Group (up $0.26 to $61.39, Research), which donated $150,000 to underwrite the airlifting of supplies from Amsterdam to Sri Lanka.

Cisco Systems (up $0.03 to $19.45, Research), which is giving directly through NetHope consortium, an organization co-founded by Cisco Fellows and several nongovernmental organizations, is providing short-term communications links in areas where communications infrastructure was damaged or destroyed. Motorola (up $0.01 to $17.18, Research) is also relieving support communication needs in the region.

Hospital operator Kaiser Permanente has donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross and will send physicians to the relief effort, and some oil companies are reportedly supplying free fuel for rescue transportation.

Altria Group, Inc. (up $0.26 to $61.39, Research) is underwriting AmeriCares' first emergency airlift into Sri Lanka with a $150,000 contribution.

Northwest Airlines Corp. (down $0.03 to $11.00, Research) is also teaming up with AmeriCares to transport relief supplies to southern Asia. NWA Cargo, the cargo subsidiary of Northwest Airlines, has offered to carry up to 200 tons of supplies.

Thailand's gas company, PTT Public Company Ltd., is donating $1.3 million in cash assistance and about $100,000 in food, fuel and employee contributions, and Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways is giving supplies and other aid.

Matching funds

Companies including Intel (up $0.15 to $23.40, Research), which is giving $100,000 in aid, Cisco Systems and Time Warner have also set up employee matching programs.

Time Warner (up $0.07 to $19.48, Research), the parent company of CNN/Money, is giving $100,000 each to the American Red Cross International Response Fund and UNICEF South Asia Tsunami Relief Fund. The media conglomerate will also match up to $1,000 per employee up to $500,000 for donations to relief groups.

The company's AOL unit has pledged $200,000 to the Red Cross and will match the first $50,000 of employee donations to relief organizations.

BP gave $1 million to the Red Cross and is considering a matching fund program for employees.

The Walt Disney Company (up $0.03 to $27.91, Research) has set up a fund with the International Red Cross with an initial donation of $1 million dollars. On top of the corporate donation, Disney employees will also be able to contribute to the fund.

Anheuser-Busch (down $0.01 to $50.86, Research) said it has contacted the International Federation of the Red Cross to offer aid.

Other companies and their assistance plans are as follows:

-- American Express Company (up $0.16 to $56.33, Research): $1 million to the Red Cross and a matching program for employees.

-- Bank One: $1 million to the Red Cross and a matching program for employees.

-- Bristol-Myers Squibb (down $0.04 to $25.61, Research): $1 million to the Red Cross, shipping medicines including antibiotics and a matching program for employees.

-- Citigroup Inc. (up $0.04 to $48.07, Research): $3 million in support of disaster relief efforts and a matching program for employees.

-- Exxon-Mobil (up $0.21 to $51.24, Research): $5 million to assist relief efforts, affiliates in the region have donated planes and medical supplies and a matching program for employees.

-- FedEx Corp. (down $0.22 to $98.73, Research): shipping 200,000 pounds of medical supplies.

-- First Data Western Union: $1 million donation to Red Cross and International Red Crescent Societies. Company says it's the largest donation by the company since it began in 2000.

-- General Electric (up $0.14 to $36.74, Research): $1 million to the Red Cross, $100,000 to UNICEF and a matching program for employees.

-- Hitachi Ltd. (up $0.28 to $69.23, Research): $200,000 in cash; discussing plans to give more.

-- Home Depot, Inc. (down $0.17 to $42.75, Research): $500,000 to the Red Cross and a matching program for employees.

-- McKesson Corp. (down $0.25 to $31.37, Research): matching employee contributions.

-- Merck (up $0.08 to $32.30, Research): $250,000 to the Red Cross, shipping medicines and a matching program for employees.

-- Merrill Lynch (down $0.24 to $59.76, Research): $1 million to the Red Cross and its sister organizations.

-- Verizon Communications Inc. (down $0.03 to $40.75, Research): $100,000 and matching employee contributions 2 to 1 for contributions made to UNICEF or the Red Cross.

-- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (down $0.13 to $52.93, Research): $2 million donation to the Red Cross  Top of page

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