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Emily Larson 2018-9-4

Western Union Foundation Aids 11 Disasters in 2018

Japan - Flooding

Record-breaking torrential rain began to fall on July 5, 2018, causing widespread flooding and landslide damages in western Japan - the worst the country has experienced in 36 years. According to Save the Children, the disaster has impacted more than 974,000 children.

The Western Union Foundation responded to flooding in Japan with US $15,000 to Save the Children. Funds provided youth with immediate needs and continued education, as many schools in the area had been destroyed.


Lombok, Indonesia - Earthquake

On July 29, 2018 a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck off Lombok, providence of West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. The earthquake displaced more than 14,706 people1, damaging many buildings and homes.

The Western Union Foundation committed US $10,000 to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to provide immediate needs, health interventions, and shelter. Additionally, the Foundation has matched US $10,500 in donations from 8 Western Union agents 1:1. In total, contributions through this effort totaled US $31,000.


Laos - Flooding

After days of heavy rainfall and floods, the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam collapsed, releasing five billion cubic meters of water, affecting 7,000 residents2 in six villages.

The Western Union Foundation responded to the dam flooding in Laos by matching US $5,000 in donations from Western Union agent, Lao Development Bank, 1:1 for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to provide shelter, food and health services. In total, contributions through this effort total US $10,000.


California, United States - Wildfires

Burned Forest

A series of wildfires across California have burned hundreds of thousands of acres across the state, damaging structures and homes, displacing families.

The Western Union Foundation is responding to the wildfires in California. They have committed US $30,000 to the American Red Cross for the summer wildfires in Redding and Mendocino and are supporting ongoing efforts in response to the devastating November wildfires in Hill, Paradise and Woolsey.

The Foundation will match up to US $30,000 for employee donations through December 13, 2018. Western Union, in partnership with the American Red Cross, also offered fee-free donations through WU.com.


Democratic Republic of the Congo - Ebola

Photo Caption: A mother brings her daughter to the CSR Police Clinic in Mbandaka after she had been experiencing a high fever. The hospital, which recently received training from the Red Cross Emergency Response Unit (ERU) was able to place her in a specialized pre-triage room for potential Ebola cases. After her consultation, in coordination with WHO, she was - to her mother's relief - not showing other signs of Ebola and was free to enter the hospital where a doctor could treat her.

The Western Union Foundation has committed a US $10,000 grant to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in support of Ebola recovery efforts.

Learn more about how the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is responding to the Ebola outbreak here.


Kerala, India - Flooding

India’s southern state of Kerala suffered one of the worst monsoon flooding in nearly a century3. More than one million people4 have been estimated to be displaced.

The Western Union Foundation has committed US $30,000 to Save the Children in support of its relief efforts from monsoon flooding in Kerala. Save the Children is providing aid through programs that provide immediate distribution of supplies, access to education and shelter to affected families.

Read more about the  Western Union and Western Union Foundation coordinated response here.


Hawaii, United States - Hurricane Lane

To support communities and families affected by disasters such as Hurricane Lane in Hawaii, Foodland Super Market and the Western Union Foundation have come together to support relief efforts of the American Red Cross of Hawaii. The Western Union Foundation has personally committed US $10,000 to this effort.

In addition, Foodland and the Western Union Foundation jointly contributed more than US $12,000 to the American Red Cross of Hawaii to help match customer donations given at checkout as part of Foodland’s Annual Community Matching Gifts Program, Give Aloha.

As part of Foodland’s Give Aloha, each year during the month of September, customers are encouraged to donate at Foodland to their favorite participating Hawaii non-profit organization. In 2018, Foodland and the Western Union Foundation each contributed US $50,000 for a total of US $100,000. Additionally, Foodland made another donation of US $200,000. Since the program began in 1999, more than US $29.2 million has been raised for Hawaii’s charities, with over US $1 million coming from the Western Union Foundation.

Read more about the  Western Union and Western Union Foundation coordinated response here.


North and South Carolina, United States - Hurricane Florence

Western Union committed USD $100,000 to the American Red Cross in support of Hurricane Florence Relief. Western Union also activated fee-free donations to the American Red Cross for relief efforts for consumers online and at Western Union Agent locations.

At the same time, the Western Union Foundation gave USD $30,000 to the American Red Cross and doubled any employee donations through the Foundation for affected communities

Western Union My WU members also redeemed their points to support American Red Cross Hurricane Florence relief efforts, generating USD $30,000.

Read more about the Western Union and Western Union Foundation’s coordinated response here.


Philippines - Typhoon Mangkhut

Philippine Red Cross Truck

Photo Caption: Cagayan, Philippines, 15 September 2018. Hours after typhoon Mangkhut (local name Ompong) first made landfall, Philippine Red Cross staff and volunteers in Guguegarao in Cagayan Valley Region in northern Luzon are able to assess damage, identify communities cut off and start clearing debris, all while rain and wind continue.

To support communities most affected by Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines, the Western Union Foundation announced a multi-faceted response to provide relief. Contributions came from employees, Western Union and agents.

“Flooding and landslides from the typhoon have caused significant damage and loss of life,” Vice President and Head of the Western Union Foundation, Elizabeth Roscoe said. “As an organization, we are committed to supporting immediate relief and sustainable rebuilding for communities in crisis. Over the coming weeks we will work with Western Union Agents, employees and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help the communities recover.”

Western Union committed USD $50,000 and the Western Union Foundation pledged USD $30,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The Western Union Foundation also provided a 1:1 match of qualifying contributions from participating Western Union Agents and a 2:1 match from contributions made by Western Union employees. Agents that participated in the agent match include: Universal Storefront Services Corp., PETNET, Inc., Vantage Financial Corporation, and Direct Agent 5, Inc.

Read more about the  Western Union and Western Union Foundation’s coordinated response here.


Gulf Coast, United States - Hurricane Michael 

To support communities and families affected by Hurricane Michael’s devastating impact in the Gulf Coast and surrounding areas, Western Union announced a multi-faceted response providing support for communities most affected by Hurricane Michael.

Western Union committed USD $50,000 to the American Red Cross’ recovery and relief efforts. Additionally, Consumers were able to take advantage of fee-free donations to the American Red Cross online and at Western Union Agent locations.

“We are committed to helping the communities that we serve around the world by providing immediate relief and long-term sustainable recovery,” said Chief Compliance Officer and Chair of the Western Union Foundation Board of Directors, Jacqueline Molnar. “Hurricane Michael has caused devastating damage to the Gulf Coast. Together, with Agents and employees, Western Union and the Western Union Foundation support the relief efforts of the American Red Cross.”

The Western Union Foundation also gave USD $20,000 to the American Red Cross. In addition, the Western Union Foundation provided a 2:1 match from contributions made by Western Union employees in the U.S.

Read more about the  Western Union and Western Union Foundation’s coordinated response here.


Indonesia - Earthquake 

Earthquake survivors

Photo Caption: 2018 October 10th. Finnish Red Cross earthquake and tsunami response in Dongala, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Rosnawati stands in front of the ruins of her house. When the earthquake struck, she and her family ran for the hills behind their neighbors’ house and survived.

Following the devastating earthquake and tsunami on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, the Western Union Foundation committed to providing support for the people affected by both the earthquake and tsunami. According to the Disaster Management Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, more than 2.4 million people were impacted by the disaster. As rescue attempts continue, especially in remote parts of the island, Indonesia’s President called on international non-for-profit organizations to engage support.

The Western Union Foundation is proud to work with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Indonesian Red Cross. The money raised through IFRC’s Emergency Appeal will go towards: shelter; livelihoods and basic needs; health; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

The Western Union Foundation has committed USD $25,000 to the IFRC for the Sulawesi, Indonesia Earthquake & Tsunami relief efforts.

Read more about the  Western Union and Western Union Foundation’s coordinated response here.


The Western Union Foundation Responded to 13 disasters in 2017

Western Union and the Western Union Foundation were at the forefront of major natural disaster relief efforts, including Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Since 2001, the Western Union Foundation has donated more than US $17 million for disaster relief, to aid 180 disasters in 80 countries around the world. Last year, the Western Union Foundation responded to 13 disasters around the world.

2017 Disaster Map

 

 1Data from national disaster management agency (BNPB)

2 IFRC Emergency Appeal Laos, July 26, 2018

Save the Children Emergency Appeal, August 20, 2018

4 The Atlantic, Devastating Monsoon Floods in Kerala, India, August 22, 2018

The Western Union Foundation is an independently managed 501(c)(3), United States non-profit corporation.

This Article was written by

Emily Larson Spirited marketing and communications manager with almost a decade of experience in finance, retail, and non-profit. Passionate about design, creativity, and above all... adventure.

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