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Staff respond to natural disasters in Americas

11 Dec 2017

The Americas have been affected by an unprecedented number of natural disasters and extreme weather conditions in the region this year. Macquarie staff, in partnership with the Macquarie Group Foundation, quickly mobilized to help those impacted by launching coordinated disaster relief and recovery initiatives. 

“Many of our businesses and our staff were confronted with extreme weather and natural disasters. And their resiliency and resolve in the face of trying circumstances have never been more prominent and important,” said Michael McLaughlin, US County Head and Macquarie Group Foundation Board member. 

In Houston, staff raised $100,000 with matching from the Macquarie Group Foundation for the American Red Cross in immediate relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey. 

In addition to financial support, Houston staff volunteered at the NRG Center, which serves as a shelter for more than 2,000 displaced victims. Staff also partnered with a number of local non-profits to assist homeowners in mucking out debris caused by the storm and collaborating with food banks to sort, pack and distribute donated food items. 

"Hurricane Harvey was a devastating storm that forced the city of Houston and our community into extreme circumstances,” said Nicholas O’Kane, Head of Macquarie’s Houston office. 

“The response, dedication and incredible sense of duty displayed by local staff and our people around the world, have been nothing short of exceptional. We are incredibly proud of this staff-led fundraising effort for the American Red Cross and will continue to work closely with local community organizations to aid with relief efforts.”  

Following Hurricane Irma, Jacksonville staff served the distressed community by hosting a drive for essential relief items, contributing vital support for people in need.  

Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, the island of Dominica, the Leeward Islands and Greater Antilles of the Caribbean. Staff responded by donating over $2000 with Macquarie Group Foundation matching to relief efforts. 

In the first Macquarie-sponsored leave donation program, staff donated accrued vacation leave and Macquarie contributed its cash value to charities that support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria relief. 42 staff members contributed 238 vacation days or $241,000 through this program. 

In Sonoma County, as California began to recover from the most destructive wildfires in California history, staff in Macquarie’s San Francisco office came together to raise nearly $10,000 for the Sonoma County Resilience Fund to address the mid to long-term needs of those impacted by these devastating fires. 

Finally, Mexico City was severely affected by two earthquakes in the span of one month. Staff have raised $290,000, including matching from the Macquarie Group Foundation, in support of Mexico City earthquake relief. The donations will be directed to organizations assisting people and infrastructure impacted by the earthquakes. 

"Mexico’s two recent earthquakes were devastating to the country, as well as to our local communities,” said Ernesto González, a Managing Director from Macquarie’s Mexico City office. 

“The response from our staff, many of whom jumped into action as soon as the earthquakes hit, has been extraordinary. We recognize, however, that there is a long-term need to rebuild and sustain communities across Mexico.” 

“We are proud that our staff, businesses, and the Macquarie Group Foundation are working together to make a meaningful difference in the wake of these tragedies,” said Erin Shakespeare, Head of the Americas Region in Macquarie Group Foundation. 

“We expect to be involved in supporting volunteer efforts on the ground for some time.” 

Image caption: Macquarie staff volunteers mucking out a home affected by Hurricane Harvey