$76 Million In Corporate Harvey Relief Pledges Unredeemed

HOUSTON (AP) – Millions of dollars in corporate pledges for relief to Hurricane Harvey victims are still unredeemed two months after the storm clobbered the upper Texas Gulf coast.

gettyimages 842306686 $76 Million In Corporate Harvey Relief Pledges Unredeemed

HOUSTON, TX – SEPTEMBER 03: LaMarcus McCray and Allan Sommer (L-R) pupsh a boat through a flooded neighborhood as they help bring items out of a friends home in an area where a mandatory evacuation is still under effect after it was inundated with flood water after torrential rains caused widespread flooding during Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey on September 3, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi on August 25, dumped around 50 inches of rain in and around areas of Houston and Southeast Texas. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A Houston Chronicle review found that at least $76 million in relief donations pledged by companies, foundations and individuals still haven’t been delivered.

The Chronicle asked 18 charities that were among the biggest beneficiaries of corporate pledges, nine of which disclosed what they were promised against what they had received. Those charities received about $315 million in pledges, meaning they were still waiting to receive about 24 percent of the promised donations.

Doug White, former director of the nonprofit management program at Columbia University and now an adviser to donors, called the delays unacceptable.

On Thursday, J.J. Watt has announced plans for how the more than $37 million he raised in the wake of Hurricane Harvey will be distributed.

The Houston Texans defensive end will divide $30.15 million of the donations between Americares, Feeding America, SBP and Save the Children.

The money will go toward rebuilding child-care centers and homes and providing food and health care to those affected by the storm. He’ll hold onto $7 million for now and distribute it next year after his group assesses the continuing relief efforts.

Watt began the fundraising campaign in the days after the storm with the goal of raising $200,000, but kept upping the target as donations poured in from more than 200,000 people.

Watt says: “You have truly shown what is possible when everyone bands together for one common cause. While we are going to do some truly incredible things with this $37 million to make it stretch as far as possible, it is only one small step in the massive recovery effort that lies ahead.”

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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