Employees at Amazon's fulfillment center in Spartanburg gathered 55 pallets of food, water and other essentials that totaled nearly $50,000. The local facility was one of 10 Amazon centers engaged in the effort to pick, pack and ship in-kind donations, according to a news release.
“We’re glad we were able to help and we continue to be on standby,” Amazon spokeswoman Anne Laughlin told GSA Business Report. “Associates have said it made them proud to work for Amazon.
“For me, watching this effort come together, we’re just very glad to be able to help.”
Laughlin said on Thursday the company received a list from Harvest Hope of additional supplies needed. She has been overseeing the overall coordination as things develop, day and night. The most recent request is for supplies for people who are moving back into their homes in South Carolina, she said.
“The list still includes things like food and baby formula but also includes mops and buckets, packing boxes, shampoo, paper towels, and other essentials,” Laughlin said. “Our Spartanburg facility is sending another truck of supplies to Harvest Hope this week.”
Laughlin said Amazon sent out the first shipment of supplies on a 53-foot trailer to the Red Cross in Florida on Friday, Oct. 7. Hurricane Matthew made landfall in South Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 8. A second shipment went out to Harvest Hope for those in need in South Carolina on Tuesday, Oct. 11, Laughlin said.
About 25 Amazon associates at the Spartanburg facility spent approximately 100 hours gathering and packing the supplies, she said.
"Our associates worked quickly to help preposition supplies in the region," said Keith Munns, senior operations manager at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Spartanburg, in the news release. "We have coordinated closely with the Red Cross and Harvest Hope, responding to the situation as it evolves."
Munns also said that the level of coordination among fulfillment centers was a testament to the company's "Bias for Action," one of the 14 Leadership Principles at Amazon. The company added a donate button to its website to make it easy for customers to send cash and supplies to the Red Cross.
Laughlin said the company's fulfillment centers in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida and South Carolina shipped supplies worth a total of $500,000 to the Red Cross and Harvest Hope to be distributed to those in need.