DETROIT — General Motors as well as other automakers and a large financial institution dipped into their charitable checkbooks and gave substantial funds toward relief efforts in earthquake-rocked Haiti.
The GM Foundation approved an immediate contribution of $100,000. The money was directed to the American Red Cross.
The automaker also provided direct online access so its employees could make personal contributions to the same organization through their desktop workstations.
"As one of the world's largest car companies, doing our part to contribute aid to Haiti is not about business but our obligation to our fellow man," explained GM chairman and chief executive officer Ed Whitacre.
"There is remarkable compassion among GM employees, and I know that same spirit will make a difference in helping the Haiti relief effort," Whitacre went on to state.
Making such a contribution is not new to the OEM. Company officials noted that GM Global Aid, an initiative funded through the GM Foundation, has facilitated more than $15 million in donations for disaster relief worldwide since 2000.
Meanwhile, Nissan North America contributed an immediate $30,000 cash donation to the American Red Cross to assist with earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. That donation is just a portion of how the automaker plans to help.
Nissan Canada made a $5,000 cash donation. The manufacturer also rolled out a dollar-for-dollar gift matching program to coincide with donations given by its employees. Nissan is prepared to match funds up to another $50,000.
Furthermore, Nissan is sending $52,000 to Habitat for Humanity International to construct 13 houses in Haiti as rebuilding programs launch.
"Recovery in Haiti will be very difficult and will take years to accomplish after a disaster of this magnitude," said Scott Becker, senior vice president, administration and finance for Nissan North America.
"We want to do our part immediately and in the future to help those affected by the earthquake in a time of critical need," Becker added.
Toyota Chips In
Yet another automaker, Toyota, decided to spread its $500,000 in donations for Haiti relief among three organizations. The funds will be given to American Red Cross, Save the Children and Doctors Without Borders.
The manufacturer also urged its employees in all divisions to give as they saw fit with an offer to match any donation.
"All of Toyota's nearly 34,000 associates and team members in the United States express their sincere condolences to the victims and families affected by the earthquake in Haiti," said Yoshi Inaba, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor North America.
"Our hope is that Toyota's support will quickly aid those in need, and we thank all three organizations for their courageous efforts in the region," Inaba added.
Bank of America Seeks to Help
A financial institution with significant ties to the automotive industry, Bank of America, also is giving a hefty sum for Haiti relief.
Bank executives revealed an overall commitment of $1 million with half of that sum going to the American Red Cross. They indicated that the remaining $500,000 will be directed toward the long-term recovery efforts to restore basic medical services and fund the rebuilding of homes, schools and other structures critical to the affected communities.
Like the automakers, Bank of America also plans to match donations made by its employees.
"As the victims of this tragedy begin to rebuild their lives and their cities, they will need immediate assistance from individuals and organizations from around the world to address their immediate and long-term needs," explained Anne Finucane, global chief strategy and marketing officer for Bank of America.
"As America's leading bank, we believe it is our responsibility to do our part to support the relief effort," Finucane added.
"Many of our associates, particularly in the South, have family and friends who were impacted by this disaster," she went on to say.