John Deere has a long history of supporting disaster relief organizations. Our third chief executive officer, William Butterworth, chaired the first Quad Cities-area chapter of the American Red Cross, and he personally delivered the chapter's charter to Washington, D.C., in 1917.
One hundred years later, we continue our support of the Red Cross, with an annual $500,000 contribution from The John Deere Foundation to the organization’s disaster giving program. The contribution helps the Red Cross pre-position supplies, secure shelters, and train volunteers so response can begin immediately.
Our support of disaster relief efforts broadened in the wake of the devastating hurricanes that ravaged parts of Texas, Florida, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico in the fall of 2017. We made a $1 million cash donation to Habitat Hammers Back, a long-term recovery initiative organized by Habitat for Humanity International, and deployed heavy equipment through our business units and dealers to help in the recovery efforts.
In addition, John Deere employees contributed more than $100,000 to the Red Cross, local food banks, and other disaster aid organizations after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. That figure was matched by the John Deere Foundation.