For more than a decade, Cisco and the Cisco Foundation have supported the American Red Cross (ARC) and its efforts to help people displaced by natural disasters around the world.
This support has taken many forms -- from matching employee giving campaigns to corporate donations to product donations, such as Cisco data and voice communications equipment and volunteers that enabled ARC’s Hurricane Katrina response in 2005. Many of our employees volunteer with ARC, and some have been trained to work at relief shelters through the organization’s Ready When the Time Comes program.
Three months ago, the Red Cross faced one of its largest and most geographically dispersed deployments ever when Hurricane Sandy marched through the Caribbean and up the East Coast, sweeping away homes, destroying entire neighborhoods, and uprooting thousands of families.
American Red Cross volunteers Jessica Elam and Gilbert Abney distribute hot meals in heavily devastated Staten Island, New York on November 6, 2012. Photo: Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross
Within hours of Sandy’s landfall in New Jersey, Cisco committed a corporate contribution of US$1 million to the American Red Cross to be used for direct aid to the affected areas.
In addition, the Cisco Foundation set up the Hurricane Sandy Relief Campaign and pledged to match up to $2 million in Cisco employee contributions to the campaign, matching $2 for each $1 contributed by employees.
As of January 2, the campaign has raised more than $464,000 for the ARC’s U.S. Disaster Relief and International Response Funds through employee contributions and Cisco Foundation matching -- along with an additional $145,000 for 14 other disaster and hunger relief agencies.
Our strategic and ongoing partnership with the American Red Cross is part of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts to meet critical human needs -- such as access to food, potable water, shelter, and disaster relief, as well as long-term economic opportunities.
“The American Red Cross is at the forefront of the world’s most devastating disasters,” said Peter Tavernise, executive director of the Cisco Foundation. “Many of us are frustrated and want to help when we see the devastation on television. Our partnership with and support of the Red Cross gives our employees a way to contribute in a meaningful way to people who are affected by these catastrophes.”
Fatima Velasquez, a volunteer for the American Red Cross, provides snacks to Jennifer Rivera from a Red Cross mobile feeding unit in the Rockaways, New York, on January 2, 2013. Photo: American Red Cross/Virginia Hart
Three months after Hurricane Sandy, approximately 1,000 Red Cross workers are still on the ground. To date the Red Cross has distributed more than 6.7 million relief and clean-up items and provided more than 9.6 million meals and snacks. ARC is still serving thousands of meals each day in New York and working with partners to distribute thousands of additional food packages every day.
Please read more about the American Red Cross Sandy relief efforts and donate today.