The winds and rain from Hurricane Florence are gone, but historic flooding continues to ravage eastern North Carolina and the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.
While downstream rivers continue to rise in both states and the death toll surges in the aftermath, corporations large and small are stepping up to help in the relief and recovery efforts.
Through late-afternoon Friday, more than $21 million had been pledged in aid after the disaster. The amount is expected to rise as more companies report contributions.
Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, donated $5 million and customers pitched in another $2.5 million.
Big-box hardware store Home Dept increased an earlier commitment to relief efforts for several disasters, including Florence, to $3 million. North Carolina-based Lowe's committed $2 million in supplies to Florence relief. McDonald's Corp. pledged $500,000 to the American Red Cross. AARP Foundation and AARP will match donations up to $500,000 to a fund they created.
Carolina Panthers Charities and the David Tepper Charitable Foundation gave $1 million to the American Red Cross, $450,000 to food banks through 25,000 emergency food packs and aid to high school athletic programs affected by storm damage.
Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. and the Coca-Cola Foundation gave $1 million to the American Red Cross while New York-based PepsiCo Foundation donated $500,000 to the American Red Cross and another $500,000 to the Salvation Army, along with at least 350,000 meals through its Food for Good nutrition operation. Coca-Cola also donated more than 100,000 bottles of water and other beverages to relief efforts, and it will match employee contributions up to $100,000 to help its 6,000 employees in the storm's path.
UnitedHealth Group pitched in $500,000 to the One SC Fund for hurricane relief, and Bank of America Charitable Foundation donated $1 million, including $250,000 to the American Red Cross ahead of the storm's landfall.
Cable giant Charter Communications of Connecticut donated $350,000 to nonprofit Rebuilding Together to assist in home repairs and renovations in the storm's wake. It also is providing $1 million in free public service announcements to assist organizations with fundraising efforts. Also, Maryland-based TV company Sinclair Broadcast Group will match donations up to $100,000 to the Salvation Army.
In addition, New York-based telecommunications company Altice USA, which serves parts of North Carolina, donated to a Red Cross chapter in the state and is providing $500,000 of free advertising time to the agency for relief efforts. It will also match employee contributions up to $50,000.
Cincinnati-based supermarket chain Kroger Co., which owns Harris Teeter, gave $50,000 to the American Red Cross. Harris Teeter, with several stores throughout the Charleston region, is asking customers to donate what they can at the register or round up their purchases to the nearest dollar for hurricane relief efforts. The North Carolina-based grocer will match customer donations up to $125,000 through Sept. 30.
The TD Charitable Foundation, an arm of TD Bank, gave $50,000 each to two American Red Cross units in areas affected by flooding in North Carolina and South Carolina. Duke Energy donated $145,000 to the American Red Cross.
The BP Foundation gave $50,000 to Samaritan's Purse. It will also match employee contributions to the charity or another nonprofit of their choice for Hurricane Florence aid. BP operates a petro-chemical plant in Berkeley County and has nearly 900 gas stations in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Packaging company Sonoco of Hartsville in the hard-hit Pee Dee region gave $50,000 to the American Red Cross, and Delta Dental of South Carolina contributed $25,000 to the Coastal Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund. Memphis, Tenn.-based First Horizon Foundation will match public donations at its Capital Bank and First Tennessee financial centers up to $25,000.
Michigan-based cereal giant Kellogg Co. sent five tractor-trailer loads of cereal, bars and crackers, or 2.1 million servings, to the storm ravaged region through Feeding America to support food banks.
Also, Maryland-based Perdue Farms will send several truckloads of food and its signature food truck to the Carolinas to support relief efforts through the American Red Cross and Feeding America. The first trucks will arrive Monday at designated food banks. They will carry a half million pounds of food, enough for 416,000 meals.
In addition, Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Energy donated $150,000 to different relief agencies and delivered 3,000 cases of water to Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia, which has field sites in Greenville and Florence in South Carolina.
Golden Corral, with many of its 52 North and South Carolina restaurants in areas affected by the hurricane, provided free food to some victims, first responders and utility crews in the storm's aftermath and reduced-price meals to members of the public when the restaurants were able to reopen. On Saturday, it will deliver pallets of water and cases of bread to Lumberton as well as water to other storm-stricken cities.
Emser Tile, which has a location in North Charleston, and Anderson Brothers Bank each donated $10,000 to the American Red Cross for disaster relief.
Pittsburgh-based 84 Lumber donated $10,000 to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and dropped off a truckload of clothing, dog food, water and cleaning supplies in the hard-hit New Bern, N.C., area.