Area businesses, organizations support Harvey relief efforts

Generac Power Systems Inc. sent three vans with two technicians each, along with products and parts, to the affected areas last Friday in anticipation of the storm

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, area businesses and nonprofit organizations have rallied this week to help relief efforts. 

Waukesha-based Generac Power Systems Inc. sent three vans with two technicians each, along with products and parts, to the affected areas last Friday in anticipation of the storm, said spokesman Art Aiello.

“Their job down there is to help support our retailers and our dealers as they are in turn trying to support our customers with any maintenance requirements, any repairs,” Aiello said. “Our goal is that everybody who has a generator, whether it’s Generac or otherwise, that it’s up and running.”

Generac Power Systems Inc. sent three vans with two technicians each, along with products and parts, to the affected areas last Friday in anticipation of the storm

Aiello said Generac’s response team has had some difficulty accessing the affected areas due to floodwaters.

“We’re directing them based on requests from retailers and dealers in the area, we’re directing them from here,” Aiello said. “And they will stay down there as long as they are needed but we don’t have an end date at this point.”

On Tuesday, the company sent an additional trailer loaded with parts that will serve as a makeshift “miniature distribution center,” Aiello said.

“It will make sure our channel partners, the retailers we work with, the dealer we work with down there, that they have access to parts,” he said. “With the flooding, there are some shippers and carriers that are having a hard time getting into the area. And we’re continuing to work with them but we wanted to make it that parts are available so that if there is product that needs to be repaired or maintained, we can do that very quickly.”

Kohl’s announced this week it is giving $1 million to the American Red Cross in support of hurricane relief and recovery efforts in Texas and across the Gulf Coast, as well as an estimated $1 million to help employees who have been significantly impacted by the storm. Earlier this week, the company said it was giving $500,000 to the Red Cross, but later doubled its donation on Thursday.

 

“The destruction of the hurricane and its aftermath has continued to escalate day by day,” said Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, CEO and president.  “We feel compelled to increase our donation to the Red Cross to help families across Texas and the Gulf Coast during this time of great need.”

Throughout the week, Pewaukee-native J.J. Watt, a defensive end for the Houston Texans, has set fundraising goals and continually surpassed them in an online campaign. As of Friday morning, he’s raised $14 million.  Pewaukee High School, Watt’s alma mater, held a collection drive on Thursday, with trucks full of supplies sent to Texas that evening.

Pick ‘n Save grocery stores across Wisconsin have launched in-store donation services to support flood victims. Customers at Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market locations can make a cash donations at the register that will benefit the American Red Cross.

“We are quickly mobilizing our resources to do our part to help the Greater Houston community and its residents during this devastating and unprecedented storm,” said Jim Hyland, Roundy’s vice president of communications and public affairs.

The Milwaukee Brewers announced today that two events during this weekend’s series against the Washington Nationals at Miller Park will benefit relief efforts. All profits from the Mystery Bag event on Sept. 2, hosted by the Brewers Wives, will go toward relief efforts. The Brewers Community Foundation will also donate all 50/50 raffle ticket sales from the Friday, Saturday and Sunday games toward hurricane relief.

The Blood Center of Wisconsin, meanwhile, is seeking blood donations to be shipped to areas affected by the storm. Blood centers in that region have been closed and most blood drives have been canceled because vehicles are unable to reach the blood drive locations, according to the Blood Center of Wisconsin.

Blood centers across the country have provided nearly 1,000 units of blood products already, but another 1,000 are needed. Donations of O blood are critically important, the Blood Center of Wisconsin said.  

Those interested in donating can schedule an appointment by calling 1-877-BE-A-HERO or visiting the Blood Center of Wisconsin’s website.

The American Red Cross said Thursday that 91 disaster responders from Wisconsin were either in or on their way to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

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