Corporations Step Up With Donations and Aid

As the country tries to recover from last week’s attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the nation’s airlines, companies large and small are rallying to donate money, technical assistance, food, clothing and rescue equipment to aid victims’ families and rescue workers. Thus far, they have pledged more than $50 million.

Coca-Cola pledged $12 million to disaster relief, half of which will go to the American Red Cross. General Electric donated another $10 million to help families of rescue workers presumed dead. Cisco Systems pledged $6 million to the American Red Cross and other relief agencies in New York. Micro soft is offering $5 million in Microsoft Consulting Services and software for the recovery effort and organizations serving affected areas. It will also donate $5 million in cash via the United Way.

DaimlerChrysler committed $10 million to support the children of victims. In Manhattan’s Silicon Alley, where hundreds of companies have recently shut down or downsized, and others offered office space to tenants of the fallen towers.

Meanwhile, food, beverage and personal-care-products companies rushed to donate truckloads to distribution centers managed by charities that include AmeriCares, the American Red Cross, America’s Second Harvest and the Salvation Army.

McDonald’s support included $1 million to the relief effort, which was matched by $1 million from Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Others provided essential products for rescue workers: Timberland donated truckloads of boots; Wal-Mart pledged $2 million and set up collection points and blood drives at 3,200 stores and clubs. Unilever is donating $2 million to help children of victims of the tragedy, as well as diapers, toothpaste, essential cleaning supplies and soap.

Michelin donated up to $250,000 in tires for emergency vehicles used in recovery efforts.