Harbert HERO Foundation to Donate a Half-Million Dollars to Tornado Relief
BIRMINGHAM, AL- As the one-month anniversary of the devastating tornadoes that ripped through the Southeast approaches, Harbert Management Corporation’s HERO (Harbert Employees Reaching Out) Foundation continues to provide support to the community. Immediately following the tornadoes, HMC employees began working with the Red Cross to gather supplies for care bags to deliver to tornado victims in the Birmingham area. Gift cards were also distributed within twenty-four hours of the storm to provide immediate relief to those who were greatly affected. Now, HERO is pooling its resources to make an even larger contribution to people in need.
In the upcoming weeks, HERO will be distributing $500,000 to area families needing assistance with basic necessities, food, clothing, transportation and temporary living arrangements. The HERO Foundation is currently in the process of accepting applications from HMC employees and approved referral agencies.
Sonja Keeton, Senior Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer for HMC has been involved in HERO since its inception in 1998. “To not only work for a great company, but to be able to have the resources within HMC to help the community and make a difference in the lives of people is huge,” said Keeton. “HERO is a 100% employee operated non-profit. Without the volunteers of HMC who not only donate their time, but also their money, we wouldn’t be able to have the opportunity to help our community on this grand of a scale.”
HMC employees and affiliates will also be involved in partnering with Hands on Birmingham to offer employee volunteer support to local families rebuilding their lives. On May 25th, the volunteers will meet at Faith Chapel World Dome. Some employees will stay at Faith Chapel to help sort and organize donations, while other employees will go to Pleasant Grove to participate in debris removal.
The HERO Foundation was created after the tragic spring tornado season of 1998 left dozens of people in Alabama without shelter, clothes or food. The employees of Harbert Management Corporation were motivated to create the HERO Foundation. The Foundation has given the company’s employees the means to reach and assist families directly affected by natural disasters, medical conditions or temporary financial hardships as they regain their independence and self-sufficiency.
Since 1998, the Foundation has helped many individuals and families in need of temporary assistance because of hardships, when no other safety net was available, including those affected by such tragedies as the attacks of September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina and the tornadoes that tore through Enterprise, Alabama on March 1, 2007. The committees that manage HERO are made up of employees from across Harbert Management Corporation and its affiliates, and HERO’s resources come from HMC’s employees, its affiliates and from various fundraisers. During the 13 years since HERO’s inception, HMC affiliates and employees have distributed approximately $2 million to people and communities in need.
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