Tech Companies Join Relief Effort
Carriers, consultants, and vendors in the optical networking industry are making large contributions to relief efforts in the wake of this week's terrorist attacks in the United States.
Since yesterday, donations of cash and services have come from carriers AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON) (see AT&T Donates $1M to Red Cross and Sprint Donates $500K to Red Cross). Component maker Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) has kicked in as well (see Corning Donates to Relief Effort). And as this went to press, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) confirmed contributions.
AT&T's contribution includes $1 million to the American Red Cross. AT&T also has set aside up to $300,000 to match employee contributions to relief groups. The carrier also is providing $10 million of free calling cards to emergency workers in Manhattan and Washington, and it's keeping long-distance service free within the crisis area in New York.
For its part, Sprint is contributing $500,000 in cash to the American Red Cross and is offering personnel, equipment, and wireless services to emergency workers.
Corning is offering $100,000 apiece to the American Red Cross Diaster Relief Fund and to the September 11th Fund, a joint effort by the United Way and New York Community Trust, a philanthropic foundation handling donations from individuals, families, and businesses. Both the United Way and New York Community Trust are underwriting administrative costs for the new fund.
Corning also plans to match $1 to every $1 contributed by employees and retirees to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Spokesperson Paul Rogoski says these moves don't reflect everything Corning employees are trying to do to help. "A good portion of employees want to donate blood, and employees overseas, many of whom aren't U.S. citizens, are sending emails to [CEO] John Loose asking to make donations," he says. Corning's making arrangements to convert these donations from foreign to domestic currency, he says.
For its part, Cisco has donated $6 million to a variety of agencies, including the American Red Cross chapters in New York and Washington, the City of New York, and YMCAs in New York and Washington. The company confirmed the donations although it did not issue a press release.
Like Cisco, Juniper Networks made a contribution but did not issue a press release. News of a pending donation surfaced through calls to the Community Foundation Silicon Valley (CFSV), another local philanthropic group. When contacted, Juniper acknowledged that a contribution to the relief effort is forthcoming, but declined to give any amounts or to say where the money will be going.
The CFSV says it's forwarding requests to contribute directly to the September 11th Fund and other national groups. "If we handle the donations, it's just going to slow things down," says president Peter Hero. He acknowledges, though, that there has been enormous response from the companies in his foundation. BEA Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS) and Aspect Communications, both of which make software, are also on track for contributions.
A spokesperson for the New York Community Trust also says many of its donors are from technology companies. The foundation representing Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), has given $1 million.
Neither the CFSV nor the New York Community Trust could provide lists of donors at press time. But both said such lists were being compiled.
- Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading