Shortly after disaster struck China's southwestern Sichuan province on May 12, Farmers offered to match donations made by Farmers employees, agents and district managers, their friends and families up to $100,000 to help those affected by the 7.9-magnitude earthquake.
After Farmers agent Lisa "Lan" Ngo heard about the offer, she quickly shared it with her colleagues at Sacramento Chinese of Indochina Friendship Association (SCIFA), and then Ngo, and nearly 1,000 of her friends and neighbors raised $135,000 in a single evening.
Other members of the Farmers organization have also donated checks totaling $240,741 to be used for China earthquake relief.
"Although this tragedy happened on the other side of the world, many people within the Farmers organization have family and friends who have been affected by the earthquake," said Paul Hopkins, CEO of Farmers Insurance Group. "This is our way of extending our hearts to a nation who needs our help."
Farmers Insurance has selected two charities to receive donations: the Mercy Corps and the Red Cross Society of China. The Mercy Corps works amid disasters, conflicts, chronic poverty and instability to unleash the potential of people who can win against nearly impossible odds. The Mercy Corps has already airlifted over 32 tons of needed food and supplies to the affected area and has now focused its efforts on the psychological needs of traumatized survivors.
The Red Cross Society of China is providing emergency food, shelter and aid as well as emergency personnel. In addition, it has already begun post- disaster construction coordination to ensure safe water supplies and hospital facilities.
The official death toll from the quake climbed to 69,159 on June 11, with another 365,399 people injured and 19,350 still missing. About 5 million are thought to be homeless.
Farmers Insurance Group Federal Credit Union is accepting donations in a special China Earthquake Disaster Fund. Credit union members can transfer money right on their Web site, and non-members can mail or drop off donations to any local branch.
To learn more, go to: http://www.figfcu.com.