Businesses have been reaching out to help Hurricane Harvey's flood victims and some companies have come up with some more unusual ways to give back.
Home improvement, design and furnishing companies across the affected areas are mobilizing both donations and, in some cases, volunteers to help transport repair supplies to victims. Home Depot said it would donate $1 million to an array of relief organizations through its Home Depot Foundation and ensure that victims have as much supplies as possible to get a fresh start on repairing their flooded homes.
Matt Cameron Rugs and Tapestries, whose carpets have adorned the floors of the likes of Barack Obama and five-star hotels said they would pay for carpet cleaning for affected homes.
And Mattress Firm, in Houston, is putting its mattresses where it counts, saying it will donate up to $1 million in mattresses to flood victims, as well as another $1 million in profits until Sept. 5.
"We will work to get these items back to Houston, as well as to those who will be taking temporary shelter in North Texas," CEO Ken Murphy told his employees. The company is also looking at mobilizing donations in other affected areas of the state.
During the storm, Gallery Furniture in Houston opened its various display floors to displaced victims, allowing them to stay in the furniture store's show rooms until it was safe to leave. The company said it eventually reached capacity.
As of Wednesday night, more than 40 companies had organized donation drives and said they would donate at least $1 million to relief efforts. More than $70 million has been raised so far. United Airlines has a donation center on its website and has so far collected $1.7 million, the lion's share going to the Red Cross. Donors can specify where they would like their donations to go.
One of the smaller resources is the Texas Diaper Bank, a nonprofit whose work on any given week is significant. Donated funds go to supporting the littlest flood victims with their most basic needs.
Image: Flickr/USDA/courtesy of ODAFF
Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.