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Real Estate Service Providers To Help Tsunami-Devastated Areas

In the wake of the horrifying earthquake and tsunami disaster that has killed over 150,000 people and have left millions other destitute and homeless in Southeast Asia, India, and East Africa, many people and organizations are quickly mobilizing to gather aid that is urgently needed by surviving victims.  Many real estate companies and real estate service providers are included in the groups that were quick to respond to this immense relief challenge.    

Cendant Corporation, the world’s largest real estate brokerage franchiser and one of the world’s largest hotel franchisers in the United States, has set up a partnership with the American Red Cross for over 90,000 company employees worldwide.  The company has set up a matching fund initiative through the Cendant Charitable Program for all employees of the diversified company but does not include employees of franchise affiliates.

In addition, Wells Fargo & Company, a diversified institution that offers mortgage financing, and ICICI Bank are donating $100,000 to help relief efforts for victims across the eleven impacted countries.  The money is going towards the International Response Fund of the American Red Cross.  The company has also set up a matching donation program where they will match up to $250,000 of their employee’s donation which will go towards Red Cross, UNICEF, and the Global Impact Fund, which represents many international-relief organizations including Doctors Without Borders, CARE, Heifer International, World Vision, Oxfam, and others.

In addition, Wells Fargo & Company have waived all transfer fees ($8 per transaction) for U.S.-based customers who are sending money to friends and families impacted by the devastating natural disaster.  This offer is effective retroactive starting December 26th, and will run through January 31st, 2005.  Wells Fargo will also waive the foreign currency fee for all transactions effective today and through January 31st, 2005.

FedEx Corporation, which is a VIP Alliance Partner of the National Association of Realtors, is working directly with several international relief organizations (American Red Cross, Convoy of Hope, Direct Relief International, Heart to Heart International, International Aid, and Uplift International) that are coordinating direct relief efforts, and is donating transportation services to help facilitate the distribution of medical supplies.  Over the next few days, FedEx will ship approximately 100 tons (200,000 pounds) of medical supplies, including pharmaceuticals, first aid supplies and portable medical laboratories, to Sri Lanka and Indonesia.  In addition, FedEx is encouraging employees and customers who wish to donate to the disaster relief efforts to contact disaster relief organizations directly.  The company is currently supporting the efforts spearheaded by the following organizations:

American Express Company, another major real estate industry service provider, will donate $1 million to provide relief to the Asian countries devastated by the recent earthquake and resulting tsunamis.  The funds raised by American Express will go towards supporting the relief efforts of Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations in the tsunami-affected countries.  Additionally, the American Express Foundation have committed to matching employee donations for relief efforts.