Carnival Cruise Line, its parent company, Carnival Corporation, and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation have identified five non-profit organizations to receive a minimum of $2 million total in support of relief and rebuilding efforts following the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey, according to a statement.
Direct Relief, Houston Food Bank, Save the Children, Operation Homefront and United Way of Greater Houston were chosen for their active roles in providing critical supplies of food, water, medicine, shelter and other basic necessities to residents in the most impacted areas. Each organization features an extensive local network providing critical support to people in the region.
"We continue to be inspired by the efforts of so many first responders, government officials, volunteers, neighbors and others in making such valiant efforts to help people who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, which has three of its ships sailing year-round from the Port of Galveston in south Texas. "We hope our collective donation to the five organizations makes an immediate impact for those who need help the most, while our hearts and prayers continue to go out to everyone involved."
In addition to the pledges of $500,000 from Carnival Cruise Line, $500,000 from Carnival Corporation's charitable arm, The Carnival Foundation, and a matching $1 million from the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, Carnival Cruise Line will present guests with the opportunity to donate to relief efforts while checking in for their upcoming cruises. Carnival Corporation and its global brands are also encouraging employees to support the recovery while matching some individual donations.
Direct Relief, an international humanitarian organization providing critical medications and supplies, is working with community health centers and clinics throughout the affected areas, addressing urgent needs including diabetes and high blood pressure. It was ranked number one by CNBC among the Top 10 Charities Changing the World in 2016, and has made over $100 million in medical inventory available to those in the path of the storm.
Houston Food Bank is greater Houston's largest food donation organization and a member of Feeding America, the nation's largest non-governmental domestic hunger relief organization. Houston Food Bank estimates over 80,000 people in the area will be displaced until after Thanksgiving and need assistance. The charity is focused on providing people in need with critical food, water and supplies. Houston Food Bank is also reaching out to help people living in surrounding areas including nearby Galveston county.
Save the Children, an international non-governmental organization and recognized national leader for services to children in emergencies, is providing support in the affected area. Its efforts include distribution of infant and toddler supplies such as cribs and hygiene products and providing child-friendly spaces offering safety and support throughout the recovery.
Operation Homefront provides support to the over 300,000 military families living in the affected area. The charity is focused on providing direct critical support with services ranging from food assistance, home repair, temporary housing expenses, car rental or repair, replacement clothing and baby care items. Operation Homefront has been a longstanding and ongoing charity partner of Carnival Corporation, Carnival Cruise Line and the Carnival Foundation.
United Way of Greater Houston is focused on the region's long-term recovery. It assesses the needs of the impacted communities and address those needs with social service providers. Its initiatives include mental and behavioral health services, supporting food banks and assistance ministries, supporting applications to FEMA aid programs and assistance with home repairs and rebuilding. Its service emphasis is to low-income individuals and families, seniors and people with disabilities.