Since the collaboration between Bethenny Frankel’s B Strong program and Delivering Good began in October, 2017, we have been working together to raise and distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to victims of natural disasters around the world. In the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean islands, children, families, women, and men whose lives have been upended by catastrophe have found a helping hand and a start at recovery through aid provided by the B Strong program. To date (as of February, 2018) there have been:
- 5,784 gift cards given to disaster victims
- $47,500 worth of supplies distributed to recovering communities
- At least 7,034 families and individuals reached
- 75 containers of emergency supplies sent to Puerto Rico with B Strong funding
- 8 disaster-struck regions across the world given aid and relief
- 9 community partners (and counting) engaged in distributing goods and gift cards to people on the ground
The communities and individuals B Strong and Delivering Good have supported come from all backgrounds and walks of life. Whether hurricane victims who have lost their homes and belongings, earthquake-hit families in need of clean water and supplies, or residents of areas struck by major forest fires looking for immediate relief in the form of gift cards to purchase blankets and goods, B Strong has been there to provide hope and a helping hand.
WHO WE ARE HELPING
As of February 1, 2018, B Strong and Delivering Good have supplied the following allocations, in the form of monetary grants, to trusted partner organizations providing gift cards and/or supplies directly to individuals in the following regions listed in the chart below.
A comprehensive set of best practices ensures that in every community, B Strong’s funds are used efficiently and reliably to provide support directly to those in need. Allocations are determined by the Delivering Good Board of Directors, after partner organizations have been thoroughly vetted by the Delivering Good staff to make sure they have the capacity and experience to participate in our programs. Monetary grants are used solely for the purchase of gift cards or agreed-upon supplies, and are never applied toward overhead or other costs. And grant agreements specify procedures to ensure that aid is given to families based on their size and demonstrated need.
Below you will find a full breakdown of B Strong’s fundraising to date, allocations, shipping expenses, and the names of our partner agencies in Appendix A included with this report.
Everywhere we have been active, B Strong and Delivering Good have encountered those in need, who have told us how much it means to have the support of this initiative in their times of crisis. These are a few of their stories.
Hurricane Harvey was a historic rain event and the worst natural disaster the city of Houston and surrounding counties had ever seen. The storm dumped more than nine trillion gallons of water on Houston, the equivalent of a years’ worth of rainfall in four-and-a-half days. More than 130,000 homes were damaged in the storm; nearly 28,000 were completely destroyed or incurred major damage. As residents still attempt to recover, this endeavor can help them reduce the costs associated with rebuilding their lives.
On October 21, 2017, B Strong gave gift cards to 500 individuals seeking shelter and aid in the wake of the storm, part of a larger series of “pop-up shops” across the region funded by Delivering Good. Delivering Good was on-hand to see in-person the difference that this program made. Among those touched by B Strong’s work were Charles Beridon and his three sons, who had lost their home and possessions to Hurricane Harvey – everything, in short, except each other, and their hope of rebuilding. Charles and his family expressed their sincere thanks to Bethenny, B Strong, and Delivering Good for helping to get his family back on their way toward a normal life.
Florida Municipality, Puerto Rico
Hurricane Maria took a devastating toll on the Island of Puerto Rico. With enormous losses of life, at least $30 billion in damage, more than three quarters of the island left without electricity or working infrastructure, the need for relief for Puerto Rican families remains enormous.
On January 9, 2018, B Strong and Delivering Good partnered with the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy to organize an on-site gift card distribution event at a Kmart store in Florida Municipality. Eight hundred participants were pre-selected based on need, and were able to take home purchases immediately after receiving their gift cards – whether they needed food, clothing, or household essentials.
Our friends at the CBBA told us about the incredible response to the event:
These people depend on the local government and FEMA to repair all the damage their households suffered. The vast majority were denied help by FEMA or received a nickel and a dime worth of cash.
[This] donation gave them hope. The event was schedule to begin at noon, families began arriving at 6:30 am! A family hitchhiked a ride that took them to over an hour to reach Kmart to be able to "purchase" clean water and to obtain a hot plate of food for the first time in over a week and a half.
There was a group of 18 families that were still living in a refugee center. The community was washed away during the flooding and the government hasn't relocated them. The only source of food they had for over a month was the so called military food or MRE and small donations that organizations would deliver to the refugees. They were beyond thankful for the opportunity. They organized themselves to ensure that they bought enough supplies for the group and not to duplicate their goods. Each family received a $100 voucher. Thus, the impact to that group was $1,800 worth of food and water.
More impressive was to see how families bought goods to divide evenly amongst other family members. There is still a lot to be done, but for a day, we gave them hope and a sense of normalcy.
New York City, New York
In addition to hurricane victims still living in Puerto Rico, an estimated 17,000 Puerto Rican individuals have so far taken up new homes in New York City, committed to building new lives in the wake of tragedy. B Strong and Delivering Good partnered with New York Disaster Interfaith Services to provide $92,500 worth of gift cards to evacuee families, to supplement additional aid that Delivering Good was providing in the form of clothing, coats, and supplies.
Among those given support were Emanuel O., who used to own and operate a pizza truck in a Barrio of Arecibos, Puerto Rico, where he lived with his wife, daughter and two sons. His patrons were almost all from a school that was located just down the road, where children and teachers would come for their lunch hour or to get a snack after class had ended for the day. After the storm hit, Emanuel’s truck was spared serious damage but the school was without electricity, and the 2km road to reach the school was impassable due to a mudslide. Until the electricity is restored, and the roads are rebuilt, the school will not reopen and there will be no means of income for Emanuel and his family. He is staying with his cousins in the Bronx and plans to return sometime in the summer, although he predicts there will be no power in his area until December of next year. The entire family received gift cards to help purchase warm coats before a chilly winter season.
In addition to the partners and regions above, B Strong has also provided grants to:
The relief organization IsraAID, to supply gift cards to hurricane victims in Dominica and Puerto Rico, and emergency supplies to earthquake victims in Mexico and hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.
- Farm Share, an aid organization in Florida serving victims of Hurricane Irma, and evacuees of Hurricane Maria from Puerto Rico.
- Jewish Family and Children’s Services, to provide gift cards to victims of historically severe wildfires in Northern California.
- Banco de Alimentos de Puerto Rico and Yo No Me Quito, to provide additional gift cards to even more communities throughout the island of Puerto Rico.
- The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, to supply gift cards to hurricane victims in the US Virgin Islands.
Where We Are Going Next
With funds continuing to be raised for the B Strong Initiative, we are preparing once again to expand our efforts, and to include new partner agencies in disaster-impacted regions worldwide. We will be gearing up in the next few weeks to undertake additional grant work in both Puerto Rico and Mexico, where our partners have expressed a strong need for further aid to recovering communities. We are also exploring some exciting possibilities for larger and high-profile projects in Puerto Rico, and we look forward to keeping you updated as our work develops.
The team at Delivering Good wishes to extend our sincere gratitude to Bethenny Frankel and B Strong for collaborating with us on this important and impactful program. By working together, we have made a real differences in repairing lives and communities.
Please donate below and we will work with our partners and other companies to provide gift cards, bank cards and critical supplies to help stabilize their lives replace what was lost during recent disasters.
Bethenny Frankel’s B Strong relief efforts complement Delivering Good’s disaster response support from the fashion, home and children's industries. Bethenny brings compassion, efficiency and quick response to these disasters, helping lay the groundwork for our ongoing work with local nonprofits.
If you have any questions, please email us at [email protected]