Bolstered by a $2.5 million contribution from a major oil company and several $1 million donations from generous Houstonians and out-of-towners, the United Way of Greater Houston Relief Fund has surpassed $10 million.
ConocoPhillips announced late Wednesday afternoon that it has donated $2.5 million to the fund supporting Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and Gulf Coast-area communities. The Kinder Foundation, Anadarko, the Houston Texans, NFL Foundation, and the Lennar Foundation have each donated $1 million. A $500,000 contribution from ExxonMobil has also bolstered the total.
“Rich and I are inspired by the way Houstonians support each other during a disaster. We have confidence our city will come through this challenge and will be even stronger,” Kinder Foundation president Nancy Kinder said in a statement. “We hope our gift will inspire others to join in the relief fund. We also want to acknowledge Mayor Turner, Judge Emmett and our state and federal leaders who have worked so hard to support Houston during this phenomenal weather event.”
The United Way of Greater Houston established the fund in response to the widespread destruction caused by this week's storm-related flooding. All monies will be used to help Houstonians with both immediate, basic needs and long-term recovery services such as case management and minor home repair.
To give, donors can visit www.unitedwayhouston.org/flood or text UWFLOOD to 41444.
“We have received donations of all sizes from individuals and companies and we thank everyone who has answered this urgent call for help in our community — every gift counts,” Anna M. Babin, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Houston, said. “Our first priority is safety, shelter and basic needs for those who are most impacted by the storm. Once the community is stabilized, United Way will focus on long-term recovery efforts and we know those needs will be great."
United Way also operates 2-1-1 Texas / United Way HELPLINE as a key information source before, during and after a storm. United Way’s 2-1-1 is the one call for those impacted who don’t know where to call, providing the most updated information on shelters, basic needs assistance and, once the flood waters subside, long-term recovery support.
Because of the unprecedented number of callers seeking information, wait times have been longer than usual. Officials ask callers to stay on the line and be patient, as calls are being answered as quickly as possible in Houston and across the state.
Along with the donation to the United Way relief fund, ConocoPhillips also announced it had upped its contribution to the American Red Cross to $2.5 million.