All Zappos employees are safe following the devastating incident on Sunday night, and the company has been focusing on aiding the victims, their families and first responders at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center and University Medical Center.
To start, Zappos is matching donations through Crowdrise, up to $1 million, and 100 percent of the funds raised will help support victims and their families.
“After [CEO Tony Hsieh] personally made sure everyone employee was accounted for, we focused our attention on the relief efforts,” said Steven Bautista, who oversees the Zappos for Good program and volunteer initiatives at the company. “The [executive] team approved a company match program, the largest single fundraiser we’ve put into place. It didn’t take more than 15 seconds for everyone to agree it was the right thing to do.”
So far, the company has raised $125,000 — $250,000 with the match. Several local companies are getting behind the effort, and Bautista expects the donation totals to accelerate.
“This is the best way to help right now,” Bautista said. “We are leveraging our vast network of relationships. It’s been effortless in terms of getting people to help.”
Beyond the fundraising efforts, the company is helping employees lend their support in other ways. It has worked with its in-house caterer and local companies to hand out food at local blood banks and hospitals. “We don’t want people worrying about the small things. We want them to be able to focus what they need to focus on,” Bautista said.
In addition, Zappos is coordinating shoe and apparel donations from its extensive stock and handing out gift cards to those in need. The new product will be given to nurses whose shoes have been damaged. “First responders haven’t been focused on themselves but on the community. This is the least we can do,” Bautista said.
Finally, the company is making sure its employees have the resources they need to get through the challenging days ahead.
Zappos expects its relief efforts to continue in the days and weeks ahead.
“We don’t want it just to be a two-day effort,” he said. “There is no end date. This is for the long term.”