I love being a staff writer for 3BL Media/Justmeans on topics - Social Innovation, Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurs. When I am not writing for 3BL Media/Justmeans, I wear my other hat as owner of Serendipity PR. Over the years I have worked with high-profile, big, powerful brands and organisations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from my industry....
Socially Responsible Company: Bank of America Commitment to Aid Colorado's Fire Victims
Banks and the term a 'socially responsible company' are not two words that have been associated lately, though the Bank of America is doing just that when it announced early this month a $25,000 commitment to the American Red Cross Mile High Region to aid victims of the wildfires sweeping across parts of Colorado. Robert Likos, Colorado Market President, Bank of America says, "We are committed to supporting the families, customers and communities who have been impacted by the devastating series of wildfires. By giving to the local American Red Cross chapter, the funds will be immediately used for local relief and recovery needs."
The American Red Cross, with its five chapters across Colorado, is not a government agency and relies on the donations of time, money and resources from individuals in the local community, socially responsible companies and like-minded foundations. The work of the Red Cross in the U.S. directly touches the lives of one out of five Americans and has a network of over 900 chapters and service regions across the nation, with about a million volunteers. This is why its work here is so crucial and necessary. The Waldo Canyon fire alone has already destroyed nearly 350 homes and forced the evacuation of 35,000 people, surpassing the 257 homes damaged recently by another wildfire near Fort Collins.
Bank of America is responding to its customers who have been affected by the fires. It is committed to creating meaningful changes in the communities it serves through its philanthropic efforts, volunteering, community development activities and environmental initiatives. Last year, Bank of America Corporation and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation invested $200 million in communities across its global footprint to help create opportunities for as many people and families as possible. It recognises that its efforts to be a socially responsible company to the people of Colorado are very much needed right now.
So why are so many wildfires blazing out of control? Well, the unusually warm weather has meant that the fire season started earlier than normal, while the lack of snowfall has meant that the dry forests have literally become a tinder-box waiting to go off. The early weeks of summer have been marked by brutal forest fires in states like Montana, Wyoming, Utah and most of all Colorado, where that state is grappling with the worst fires in its history!
According to the National Interagency Fire Centre, in the U.S. from 3 July, 45 large active wildfires were burning through 15 states, and incredibly, since 1 January, fires have incinerated nearly 2.2 million acres across the country. Thankfully, the weather has calmed down in recent days, allowing fire fighters to get on top of some of the worst blazes. However, it is the expected that the flames will continue to burn throughout the long, hot summer of 2012.
Photo Credit: National Interagency Fire Centre Website