Western Union Ramps Up Support for Communities Affected by Hurricane Harvey

Giving By Emily Larson August 30, 2017

In continued support of the communities and families affected by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, The Western Union Company, a leader in global payment services, and The Western Union Foundation, today activated a rapid response plan to ramp up accessibility of money transfer services in impacted areas of Texas, and pledged an increased contribution to the American Red Cross, with matching grants up to a combined total of $200,000. *

Western Union President and CEO, Hikmet Ersek, said, “Our company is guided by a purpose of moving money for better and this drives every decision we make. This also means digging deep and moving rapidly on issues that are extremely critical to the communities we serve.” 

“To this end, we have mobilized a company-wide approach, engaging our Foundation, employees, business associates and hometown community to support those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

We know first-hand – operating in more than 200 countries and territories across the globe— that cash is vital to emergency relief, as it is the most effective way to help fund basic and immediate needs. To help meet these urgent needs in Texas, we are committed to enabling ways for people to receive funds quickly, when mainstream infrastructure has been disabled by natural disaster,” he said.

  • Western Union® Agent Locations Rapid Response “Ready-to-Serve” ** Plan:
    • Approximately 1000 Agent locations are open in hurricane-impacted areas in Texas, and are currently serving those needing to both send and/or pick up cash. Some Agent locations have activated mobile units to offer financial services, including Western Union Money Transfer® service.
    • Western Union is providing hardware support for Agent locations who may have lost or have had their equipment damaged in affected areas, so that they may quickly ramp up services, as soon as safety permits.
  • Fee-Free Money Transfers Now Live: Effective Wednesday, August 30, Western Union digital channels – wu.com and its mobile app  will offer $0 fee money transfers using promocode HELPTEXAS from the United States to Texas. Effective Sunday, August 27, Western Union enabled $0 fee money transfers when sending from the U.S. through Western Union Agent locations or telephone money transfers.
  •  Western Union Financial Support: Today, the Western Union Company has pledged to match the first $100,000 raised by Hurricane Harvey Telethon contributors in Denver. If you would like to donate, call 866-367-3001. 
    • The Western Union Foundation has donated $30,000 to the American Red Cross. The Western Union Foundation will also provide a 1:1 match of qualifying contributions from participating Western Union Agents and a 2:1 match from contributions made by Western Union employees in the United States, for an additional donation of up to $70,000.
  • Fee-Free Red Cross Donations: Consumers who want to take advantage of fee-free donations to the American Red Cross at Western Union® Agent locations in the US, can complete the blue Payments section on the Western Union form, using “American Red Cross” as the Pay To recipient; “REDCROSS DC” as the Code City, along with “Hurricane Harvey Relief” in the Account field.

Western Union has a long history of being one of the lifelines for communities in need.  In many instances, Western Union has been one of the few ways for people around the world to receive funds easily, with services available when no other infrastructure exists.


*The Western Union Foundation has already pledged $30,000; and an additional $70,000 for Agent and Employee matching. Western Union has pledged an additional $100,000 as a matching grant for funds raised by Hurricane Harvey Telethon contributors in Denver.


** Due to the severity of the floods, some Western Union Agent locations may not be immediately operational or possess sufficient funds.