china-quake-un-photo.jpgDespite challenges in the US economy, American corporations have heard the call and responded to the May earthquake disaster in China with cash donations, needed services and relief supplies like medicines and respiratory masks. Donors range from the largest firms — Walmart, ExxonMobil and General Motors — to smaller firms such as Robert A. Kapp & Associates out of Kentucky, a manufacturer of school marching band uniforms and flags. 122 firms are on record as donating and their ongoing work will push the pledge total even higher in the weeks and months ahead.

Cash donated as of May 26, 2008 exceeded $42.8 million to various charities set up to support relief efforts. 28 firms have committed $1 million or more in aid. Many companies are matching employee contributions to the Sichuan province with additional corporate dollars

Product and service donations totaling more than $21 million are actually under reported because many companies just describe the donations without giving actual estimated dollar value. 

Examples of shipments include medicines from Bayer and Pfizer, 80,000 “walkie talkies” from Best Buy, over 10,000 cases of water from Anheuser Busch and Coca Cola, 20,000 pairs of Kevlar gloves and 3,500 pieces of Tyvek and Tychem coveralls from Dupont,  and 4,000 mine helmets and respiratory masks from Mine Safety Appliances. In kind donations from the Hong Kong and China subsidiaries of Caterpillar include machines, generator sets and tools are valued at $10m.

Employees are also doing their part with employee-led drives for blankets, food and basic supplies. Cash donations frequently being matched by their employers total at least $12m, but more than a dozen companies are not disclosing dollar values for ongoing drives to help the Chinese recover from a natural disaster, half a world away.

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