MN Cos. Donate to Moore, OK Tornado Relief Efforts

Target, RBC, U.S. Bank, Starkey Hearing Technologies, and Best Buy are among the local companies providing financial and other resources to help the city recover.

A number of major Minnesota companies have donated money, products, and/or services for relief efforts in Moore, Oklahoma, where a powerful tornado swept through the city Monday, killing 24 and injuring many more.
Target Corporation said Tuesday that it will donate $250,000 in money and merchandise—a sum that includes $150,000 in cash and in-kind donations to the American Red Cross, $30,000 in cash to the Salvation Army, and $20,000 in product donations for needs like water and other rescue supplies. The Minneapolis-based retailer will also donate $50,000 to two local elementary schools in the area to aid in their recovery efforts.
“Target is saddened by the devastation in Moore, Oklahoma, and committed to being a resource for this community,” Chairman, President, and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement. “By volunteering our time and donating product and funds, we hope to help the residents of Moore recover from this disaster.”
Target said that police and emergency responders are operating a command center out of the Moore Target store, and stores in the area have donated bottled water, coolers, tents, utility gloves, batteries, diapers, and food to them and the community as needed.
Separately, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), under which Minneapolis-based RBC Wealth Management operates, said Wednesday that its foundation has contributed $50,000 to the Red Cross.
And Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank said that more than 2,000 of its ATMs in 25 states are accepting donations to the American Red Cross in support of relief efforts. Contributions will be accepted through June 6, and the company said its foundation will match donations that U.S. Bank employees make to the Red Cross through the company’s matching gift fund.
Meanwhile, the Starkey Hearing Foundation—the philanthropic arm of Eden Prairie-based Starkey Hearing Technologies—said that it will provide hearing testing and hearing aids to individuals in Moore who may have suffered hearing loss or lost their hearing aids as a result of the tornado. The company didn’t specify how many hearing aids it would donate or the value of the items it plans to contribute.
And Richfield-based Best Buy Company said it has placed charging stations in the parking lot of its store in Moore through a partnership with Verizon Wireless and AT&T. The idea is to allow residents without power to charge their devices.
The electronics giant also said that it is donating products and Geek Squad services to shelters and schools in the Moore area, although it didn’t provide additional details. A news release said that items like computers and mobile wireless hot spots would be set up in local shelters.
Although some companies have made direct contributions for tornado relief efforts, that’s on top of annual gifts that many of them make to the Red Cross. For example, Fridley-based Medtronic and Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group each make a $500,000 yearly donation to the Red Cross’ Annual Disaster Giving Program, and Target said that it gave that same amount this year. U.S. Bank gives $250,000 annually to the Red Cross.
Local companies have a history of providing support after natural disasters occur. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, for example, half a dozen Minnesota-based companies together pledged more than $1.25 million.