Big Businesses Stepping up to Help Flood-Stricken Midwest


As Midwesterners brace for more of the extreme flooding that has devastated communities and farmland, several big-name businesses, like Walmart, are reaching out to let victims know they’re not forgotten.

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Carly Hoilman

As Midwesterners in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota brace for more of the extreme flooding that has devastated communities and farmland, several big-name businesses are reaching out to let victims know they’re not forgotten.

Big businesses offering big relief

Earlier this week, brewing giant Anheuser-Busch announced that it would donate 100,000 12-ounce cans of water to a distributor in Fremont, Nebraska, where severe flooding wiped out homes, crops and valuable livestock.

“The emergency drinking water will be sent to Anheuser-Busch wholesaler partner, Eagle Distributing in Fremont, NE, who will work alongside Quality Brands of Omaha, the American Red Cross and other local organizations to distribute the water locally to those in need,” the company noted in a press release.

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The water will be sent from the company’s Fort Collins, Colorado brewery, which joined the emergency water initiative last year. To ensure that communities will be helped when disaster strikes, the brewer’s Cartersville, Georgia, and Colorado locations periodically halt beer production “to can drinking water to be ready to help communities” in need.

In addition to Anheuser-Busch’s generous contribution, First National Bank and Walmart have each pledged six-figure donations to help flood victims across the Midwest, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

First National Bank of Omaha said Wednesday that it has teamed up with the Nebraska Community Foundation to found the Rebuild the Heartland Community Fund, which will help with long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota.

First National, the largest privately owned bank in America, announced that it has already donated $100,000 to the fund and will match up to $150,000 in additional donations.

And when it comes to big businesses, it doesn’t get much bigger than the world’s largest retailer: Walmart. The megastore announced Wednesday that it will donate $100,000 in cash and supplies to flood relief efforts — $50,000 worth of merchandise from Walmart and Sam’s Club stores, and $50,000 cash to the Red Cross and United Way.

Local businesses do their part

Countless small businesses are also doing their part to aid relief efforts. Here are just a few examples of how these companies are making a difference.

Generations Brewing Company in Freeport, Illinois, is helping its Midwestern neighbors by donating a dollar of every purchase to flood victims, according to The donations, which will occur every Wednesday and Thursday until the end of March, will benefit the Salvation Army, Freeport Dream Center and Freeport Area Church Co-op in their flood relief efforts. The brewery is also accepting donations of food, clothing and bedding.

Lincoln-based television station KLKN-TV compiled a lengthy list of local businesses helping victims in flood-stricken Nebraska. Below are just a few of the restaurants and small businesses hosting events and specials to encourage donations.

Bennet Fire and Rescue will be with the Salvation Army at Walmart on Friday, March 22, collecting cleaning kits and personal hygiene items for flood victims.

Chopsticks restaurant will host an event on March 24, with 50 percent of sales going to the local Red Cross.

On Monday, March 25, Nebraska’s Texas Roadhouse locations will host fundraisers for the Red Cross Local Flood Relief Fund. From 4-10 p.m., 10 percent of proceeds will benefit flood victims.

On March 26, Boss’ Pizza and Chicken will host a fundraising event, donating 20 percent of dine-in, carry-out, and take and bake orders to the Disaster Relief Fund.

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Lincoln-based TRIM hair salon is partnering with the Center for People in Need, offering $10 haircuts with the donation of a case of water to Nebraska flood victims. The salon will also serve as a drop-off station for additional donated items.

For the full list of Lincoln-area businesses, click here.

If you’re not local, the Mills County Community Foundation of Omaha has set up an online donor fund for people wishing to help Nebraska flood victims, WHO-TV reported.

The group has partnered with the Omaha Community Foundation to raise funds that will be distributed through the Mills County Public Health agency. For more information, or to donate, click here.