Four organizations will serve as keystone partners of Habitat for Humanity's response to hurricanes Harvey and Irma, each making contributions of $1 million or more to support the Habitat Hammers Back initiative. The gifts from the Dow Chemical Co., General Motors, Thrivent Financial and a group of American wind energy companies will support on-the-ground responses to the hurricanes in Texas, Florida and other affected areas.
"These generous partners share our commitment to helping families recover from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma," says Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford. "Dow, GM and Thrivent share a long history of supporting our work, and we are pleased to welcome the support of representatives from the wind industry. Their contributions allow us to be on the ground to respond to the storms without delay."
Hurricane Irma hits Florida, Habitat for Humanity—already at work in storm-ravaged southeast Texas—is expanding its hurricane recovery response. Through the Habitat Hammers Back initiative, Habitat for Humanity is working with its local offices along Irma's path to respond to the storm with prepositioned response equipment.
"Harvey and Irma have wrought unprecedented levels of damage, particularly to peoples' homes," Reckford added. "We need additional support to match this enormous challenge. We ask for anyone who can to join Habitat Hammers Back by visiting habitat.org/hurricanes today."
As part of Thrivent's mission to help Christians be wise with money and live generously, the organization has committed monetary and hands-on support in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey—allowing neighbors to help neighbors and communities to help communities. Building on a more than 10-year partnership with Habitat, Thrivent is making an initial $1 million contribution and committing an additional $2 million to support Thrivent members and others to travel to Harvey and Irma affected areas and volunteer with Habitat for Humanity alongside families who need assistance. Thrivent is also offering to match up to $3 million in personal donations made through their website to Habitat for Humanity.
At the intersection of sustainability, innovation and citizenship, Dow's support of Habitat Hammers Back builds on a more than 35-year partnership between the organizations. Focused on the long-term recovery of the region and communities where the company has operations, Dow's $1 million of support includes a financial commitment, a broad range of technology-based products and solutions for home construction and repairs, and employee volunteerism.
General Motors' $1 million cash contribution to support Harvey and Irma is in addition to past post-disaster support that in the wake of Superstorm Sandy included the contribution of vehicles to Habitat that serve as Mobile Response Units for disaster responders. These vehicles are also being deployed to support Habitat's response to the recent hurricanes.
Representatives of America's wind energy industry are making a financial commitment of $1 million to Habitat Hammers Back as well as a commitment of volunteers to help with the rebuilding effort. Texas has the largest installed base of wind power in the nation, and the industry nationally employs over 100,000 workers. A number of wind energy families were directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Working through its local offices as well as by deploying trained Disaster Corps volunteers, Habitat conducts rapid assessments of storm damage and helps clean out homes damaged by winds and flood waters. Habitat's long-term post-disaster recovery efforts include repair of damaged homes and construction of new affordable homes. Construction plans are determined after evaluations and are dependent on the level of support received from donors, volunteers, corporate partners and other community organizations.
Habitat has been responding to disasters since 1997 and to date has helped more than 230,000 families in 52 countries through its disaster response work. Following Hurricane Katrina, Habitat organizations along the Gulf Coast built more than 6,000 homes and removed debris and cleaned more than 2,500 homes in preparation for rehabilitation. Habitat also mounted responses to Superstorm Sandy, tornadoes through the South and Midwest, and earthquakes and typhoons overseas.
More information on Habitat for Humanity's response to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma can be found at habitat.org/hurricanes.