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Companies ramp up Hurricane Harvey support

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Several area companies are helping out with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, contributing resources and time.

The organizations include Convoy of Hope, Bass Pro Shops, Big Whiskey’s, Central Bank of the Ozarks, Ride the Ducks, Lowe Boats, The E.W. Scripps Co.’s local radio stations and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. They’re aiming to provide a leg up to the hurricane-hit Texas Gulf Coast, where losses are approaching an estimated $75 billion.

Springfield-based crisis response agency Convoy of Hope has distributed more than $1 million worth of supplies in such cities as Austin, Corpus Christi, Victoria and Ingleside, according to blog updates on its website. Crews have been on the ground for a week.

In its latest post yesterday afternoon, Convoy of Hope officials said they served more than 1,300 cars at a distribution site in Victoria. The nonprofit has helped more than 20,000 storm survivors in several communities.

On Facebook this morning, Convoy announced it would host a Facebook Live concert tonight called Together for Texas to support hurricane relief efforts. Artists on board include singer Jeremy Camp and Mark Hall of Casting Crowns.

Other companies are partnering with Convoy of Hope.

Big Whiskey’s announced this morning it will launch a fundraiser for Convoy of Hope starting tomorrow. Each of its eight restaurants will contribute $500, and customers will be able to add a nontaxable donation to their ticket in any amount. For every donation of at least $10 to Convoy of Hope, customers will receive a free appetizer coupon, according to a news release.

“There’s definitely a huge need for financial support for the relief efforts that Convoy of Hope is leading in Texas,” Big Whiskey’s Vice President of Operations Matt Caetano said in the release. “Since we don’t yet have a Big Whiskey’s in Texas, this is the next best thing we can do to help out.”

Central Bank of the Ozarks and E.W. Scripps Co. are running similar fundraisers.

Central Bank plans to match up to $5,000 in donations made at its 21 branches in the Ozarks.

“We wanted to give customers and the general public a convenient and safe way to make donations to support the victims of this ongoing disaster,” said Russ Marquart, president and CEO of Central Bank of the Ozarks, in a news release.

Scripps’ 94.7, 104.1, 96.5 and 106.7 FM radio stations held a fundraiser yesterday morning, where donors received a Krispy Kreme doughnut and a cup of joe from Classic Rock Coffee with a minimum $5 contribution. The event raised $7,151 for Convoy of Hope, said Jordan Norcross, promotions director for 94.7 and 104.1.

Bass Pro, Ride the Ducks and Lebanon-based Lowe Boats each sent boats to areas damaged by the hurricane and heavy rains.

The Springfield-based outdoor retailer sent 80 Tracker boats to government agencies and rescue organizations in Houston and other communities. The company also donated $40,000 in supplies to Convoy of Hope, including shipments of Uncle Buck's Premium Beef Jerky. Additionally, the company is assisting employees at its seven stores and seven boating centers in Texas through its Bass Pro Cares Fund, according to a news release.

Branson’s Ride the Ducks sent two of its watercraft and crew members to serve a group of 10 hospitals in the Houston area by moving supplies, equipment and people, according to a Facebook post.

Lowe Boats sent a shipment of four Roughneck boats to the Houston area, according to its Facebook page.

Arkansas-based Wal-Mart is committing up to $20 million to relief efforts, $10 million of which is focused on supporting American Red Cross shelters and $2 million of which is going to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund at the Greater Houston Community Foundation. At Springfield stores, customers can make donations to American Red Cross, according to a news release.


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