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Target, other retailers answer Louisiana’s call for help after ‘Great Flood of 2016’


Photo: Marko Kokic, Red Cross

As the national media continues to largely ignore Louisiana’s cries for help after 6.9 trillion gallons of rain pummeled the southern part of the state between Aug. 8 and Aug. 14, retailers such as Target Corp. have answered the call.

Target said Friday it will donate $400,000 to assist Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities affected. The donation includes $100,000 to both the Salvation Army and American Red Cross to aid shelter and relief efforts. Additionally, the retailer will donate $30,000 to aid recovery efforts for impacted local schools.

In the earliest days of the flooding, Target reached out to local food banks to donate more than $100,000 of food, and is partnering with local non-profits throughout the area to distribute $20,000 in Target gift cards for necessary supplies for recovery efforts currently underway.

Target said it will also initiate a team member matching program, where the company will donate up to an additional $50,000 to the American Red Cross.

Complementing the monetary donations, Target team members are volunteering their time to contribute to the relief efforts. Target has six stores and more than 1,000 team members in the affected area.

“Communities where we have a presence don’t just represent a store to Target; these communities are home to many of our team members and countless valued guests,” says Laysha Ward, chief corporate social responsibility officer, Target. “We’re extremely proud of our team members’ efforts, not only as volunteers, but also in making sure our stores closest to the disaster areas are ready with needed supplies.”

Wal-Mart Stores already announced $500,000 toward Louisiana flood relief efforts, as did Lowe’s, and Home Depot donated $700,000.

To illustrate the scope of this historic disaster, in Livingston Parish alone, just outside Baton Rouge, 105,000 people lost everything in the flood. According to the July 2015 census estimate, there are 137,788 citizens of Livingston Parish. Across South Louisiana, 13 deaths have been recorded thus far, with more expected once submerged cars and houses are accessible. Some 20,000 people had to be rescued from cars and houses over a three-day period.
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