Uplifting Outpouring After Sandy

CSR courtesy of TSalon on Flickr
I saw several companies come forward to genuinely help their clients hurt by Hurricane Sandy, and I want to share examples.

How did your nonprofit react? (You’re not permitted to unless your by-laws allow it. That was part of the interview with Gene Takagi and Emily Chan on my November 2 show.)

There are many people still in need and I’ve got a list of ways you can help.

I’m not a Chase Bank customer, but they wanted me to know they were helping victims and they were the first company I heard from. Here’s what they said on October 28, the day before the storm hit New York City:

We are waiving the following Chase fees through Wednesday, October 31st for customers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Please know that you’ll have until the end of business on Thursday to make a deposit or a payment to bring your account current and avoid the fees.

  • Overdraft Protection Transfer, Extended Overdraft, Returned Item and Insufficient Funds Fees for deposit accounts.
  • Late fees on credit cards, business and consumer loans, including mortgages, home-equity, auto and student loans.

On Tuesday the 30th, Chase extended the fee waivers an extra day, added more states and said, “We have empowered our employees to be very accommodating to your hurricane-related circumstances in waiving fees, including the early withdrawal fees on most CDs . . ..”

It’s so smart to think proactively, rather than make customers plead.

My voice mail was down for two weeks and AT&T makes me call if I want a rebate for those days. (I’m not comparing voice mail to the devastation many suffered, merely making a point about corporate thoughtfulness.) My ISP, on the other hand, promised to issue automatic credits for service outages. No groveling needed.

This former Bank of America customer got his first email from them on November 2. They were late to the game but scored points with lenient credit arrangements and lots of refunded fees, including non-BoA ATM fees. Chase didn’t mention those.

JetBlue awarded donors 6 TrueBlue points for every dollar donated to the Red Cross, and matched up to $50,000 in donations. This struck me as very thoughtful: “We are supporting the crewmembers who have lost everything through our own internal fund first, in order to keep the public funds dedicated to our communities at large.”

That sounds like a company with a heart.

Here’s one that helps victims exercise theirs. New York Sports Clubs opened to all New Yorkers. Just bring a towel and you may take a hot shower or work out at any club in the City. (For the hardest hit, towels are scarce. I bet the clubs are sympathetic.)

I got a good feeling when I saw corporate generosity follow crushing adversity. Bravi!

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