Following the unprecedented and catastrophic events of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Hy-Vee, Inc. announced several fundraising efforts to aid hurricane victims in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and beyond. On August 29, 2017, Hy-Vee announced a massive fundraising effort would take place August 30 through September 30. As an employee-owned company with retail stores across eight Midwestern states, Hy-Vee stores, employees and customers were not directly impacted by the hurricanes. However, the company’s core values and focus on being a good community partner extended across the country when the need arose. During the month-long effort, Hy-Vee partnered with its customers and local schools, creating the ability for them to donate in increments of $1 or $5 (or an amount of their choosing) at the checkout of any Hy-Vee store; through its online grocery ordering website Aisles Online or at hyvee.com. Customers were able to add the amount to their purchase, or donate separately if not purchasing groceries.
Hy-Vee matched customer and partner donations up to $100,000. Then Hy-Vee partnered with the American Red Cross to distribute the funds, which totaled $670,468,26, to hurricane victims. Hy-Vee also donated five semi-trailers of bottled water, totaling 187,872 bottles, for victims of Hurricane Harvey, which were driven to Texas by Hy-Vee drivers in September. Hy-Vee also enlisted support from community members to collect cash donations and non-perishable food items at Iowa State University and University of Iowa football games on September 2 and September 16. To promote the relief efforts, Hy-Vee created a social media video that reached more than 26,000 people and received almost 500 engagements. Additionally, a Facebook post on September 16 promoting the University of Iowa football game donation opportunity reached more than 58,000 people and received more than 800 engagements.
Though the Hy-Vee operates in eight Midwestern states, when the devastation of the hurricanes became apparent, its outreach community got a lot larger. Hy-Vee’s goal of getting involved in hurricane relief efforts was to utilize company resources and provide an avenue for its local community members and customers, who were already looking for ways to help, to contribute to the cause. Program objectives were to: • Raise awareness for hurricane victims and relief efforts • Bolster community support across the country • Raise funds for those impacted by this year’s hurricanes • Provide essentials (i.e. water and non-perishable food items) to those in need
Through Hy-Vee’s in-store and online fundraising efforts and company match, a total of $670,486.26 was donated to the American Red Cross to benefit hurricane victims. In-store fundraising reached $547,221.68 and online contributions totaled $13,565. Hy-Vee provided a company match of $100,000. Donations collected from the events hosted at Iowa State and University of Iowa football games, included: cash donations equaling $9,681.58, more than 2,000 toiletry items, 700-plus canned food items, more than 400 boxed food items, 850-plus clothing articles, more than 100 cases of diapers, 1 large pallet of bottled water, more than 150 paper towel rolls, 150-plus toilet paper rolls and 100 assorted bedding items, including blankets and pillows. Hy-Vee also contributed an estimated $43,621.30 in-kind donation of non-perishable items, including water, and transportation services when deliveries were made to impacted areas. Overall, Hy-Vee fundraising efforts totaled 714,107.56.
Our customers have a history of rising to the challenge, and I was not at all surprised to see this outpouring of generosity for those in need. No matter where we are from, we all stand with those impacted by the devastation of hurricanes in 2017. We’re proud to partner with our customers to bolster relief efforts for these unprecedented and catastrophic events, and to offer some relief and assistance to those hurting the most from the hurricanes – in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and beyond. – Randy Edeker, chairman, president and CEO of Hy-Vee