Thomas Nelson’s Disaster Relief Efforts

As I am writing this, I am watching Fox News. The images of refugees trying to flee New Orleans are gut-wrenching. I can’t remember witnessing anything in our country as disastrous as what I have seen in the last three days.

This morning, I started getting e-mails from our employees with ideas for how our Company could help. Everyone feels the need to do something. I know I do. You can only watch the images for so long before you feel compelled to take action.

Realizing we need to act quickly, I asked Jim Thomason, our HR Director, to form a “Disaster Relief Committee” and make a recommendation to me by the end of the day. He and his team met and then made two proposals. (For Jim’s account, please click here.) I immediately approved both.

First, we will donate 100,000 Bibles to the relief efforts. Why Bibles? This afternoon, an official in Baton Rouge said on Fox News, “We need water, food, … and Bibles.” This is something I knew we could help with. Samaritan’s Purse, an organization headed by Franklin Graham, one of our authors, has agreed to distribute these for us. We will begin shipping them to Louisiana as soon as we get instructions from Samaritan’s Purse.

Second, I have approved a matching contribution program for our employees. We will match dollar for dollar any contribution our employees make to Samaritan’s Purse up to $50,000. Hopefully, this will result in a $100,000 donation to the relief efforts. I know that not everyone can give the same amount, but if each of our employees would give $83.00, we will hit this goal.

If you want to participate in this program, make your check payable to “Samaritan’s Purse” and send it to Jim Thomason. He will batch the checks together every few days and send them to Samaritan’s Purse with a matching check from Thomas Nelson.

Let me encourage you to dig deeply and give sacrificially to this cause. Please don’t procrastinate. The need is great. People are desperate, and they need our help. And, while you’re at it, thank God you have a roof over your head and something to eat. Then pray for those who don’t.

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  • Michelle Randall

    Should those of us down here in Plano at WOF just send those checks to the TN Offices at Jim’s attention?

  • Michael Hyatt

    Michelle, please check with Lara Dulaney. It might be a good idea collect the first batch, and then send them to Jim.

  • Julie Selvidge

    Wow! That is awesome about the bibles. God had the right ears tuned in to get that accomplished.

  • Larry Downs

    Having lived through hurricanes and threats to home and family, I can only tell you that the thoughts, prayers, and donations are precious.
    Mike- thanks for the opportunity to help and the matching as a company .

  • Luci Swindoll

    Mike, Thank you for being such a benevolent leader. We’re all over this project. I’m going to talk to my Porch Pals who might not get your blog. ITM, we’re praying with all of you at Thomas Nelson.

  • Brenda Taylor

    I have in-laws (aunts, uncles, and cousins)that have lost everything except their LIVES and because of that we are GREATFUL to GOD! 2 cousins that we haven’t heard from since Sunday. please be in pray with my family that they will be found.
    thanks so much for being there in the time of need.

  • Rebecca Sterling

    Thank you for doing this. Mine and my husband’s entire families live on the western coast of MS. All were affected greatly, some more then others. As of this morning I have 10 people staying in my home here in Hermitage for shelter. Then four more at my mothers, a few streets over. We all have prayed none stop to God for guidance, patience, and so much more. God answered one of my prayers last night, by letting me speak with my father for the first time since Katrina hit. Our family and faith is what is keeps us going in my household. So thank you for getting those bibles down there, to help the victims find faith again, while they search for family members and start their lives over again.

  • FMF

    Good for you!!!!! Just another reason I love to support Thomas Nelson!

  • Marilyn Lee

    My husband and I are willing to immediately house a Godly family of 4-5 who need a place to stay. However, we cannot provide daily transportation as we both work. We are located in Richardson, TX.

  • B. Norman

    Thank you for giving me a framework for contributing. These huge things get immediately conceptualized by my mind and emotions. Giving through a company-wide effort helps keep me grounded. It gives a vehicle for engaging with the disaster in a positive way that acknowledges the tragedy.

  • Jeff Matthews

    I just would like to say that both Mike’s response to the tragedy and the response of Thomas Nelson employees listed here makes me proud to be a shareholder of Thomas Nelson.

    Too many other companies are thinking about their own sales and earnings, and the impact events will have on their business…not on how to help.

  • Joam

    I hid
    I hid
    It hit
    It hit
    Gas, debris, bodies
    Loot the city
    Don’t loot the city
    Give it all to the sea
    Give it all to the sea

    18 wheels on their sides
    trapped up here waiting for the sun to shine
    The casino tables are turning
    Everything has moved from left to right
    over the limit 300 strides

    300 strides past the moorings
    God, please stop the rain from pouring
    I need some space
    To escape this gravity

    Charlie, Ivan, Dennis, Katrina, Emily, Gene
    Remember our trip there in the Spring?
    The Island has disappeared

    Pick us up
    One by one
    No longer two by two
    Threw the windows it came
    Give it all to the sea
    Give it all to the sea
    boats are in the streets

    there was my job
    this was my life

    there are no more leaves on the trees
    give it all to the sea
    give it all to the sea

    your father and mother lived here
    Their house has disappeared

    You in your dress
    And me attempting to look my best
    Remember the picture of you and me
    It’s been washed away by the sea

    The kids in the living room
    they grow up so soon
    the memories
    the memories
    can not be taken by the sea
    we need hope, water, and bread
    I need to talk to God
    there is much to be said
    the memories
    the memories
    can not be taken by the sea

  • Patsy Clairmont

    Alone my monies seem a drop in a leaky bucket but together we can make an impact-we can make a difference. Thank you for giving us a way to plug the pail.

    And Praise God for His Word!

  • Dan

    Great to work for a company like Nelson. Several were discussing Monday how the company would respond to the call. The Bibles are so needed and will make an amazing impact and it’s great to know we can donate knowing that it will go to the right places and people and with double the impact with Nelson’s added match! We’ve sent some childrens dvds for the kids to centers requesting them as well.

  • Paula

    Thank you for giving them what they asked for. Once they get the money, let’s pray it goes for the rest of what they need.

  • Harry Clayton

    I feel blessed to not only earn my living doing God’s work but also for having a
    Godly man like Mike Hyatt as our leader.

  • Ron Sharp

    Thank you Mike and Thomas Nelson. I lived in the NO area for 30+ years and my heart so ached to see the impact on the city I love. What a “heart lift” to hear about the Bibles and the $. Even though my wife, son and I are in CA now, we rejoice at the small part we can play through such a great company. My unbelieving relatives are taking note of how Thomas Nelson is responding. Pray for their salvation.

  • Lea Ann Ambler

    After watching so much of the disaster coverage over the weekend while out of town with family, I was more than ready to get home and decide a course of action to help the refugees. What a comfort to read your blog and know that I work for a wonderful company whose heart is to help those in need. Thank you, Mike, for your leadership and your heart.

  • Vgarr

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus.

  • John Flores

    Just a word of blessing to you and yours for your generosity towards those who were in need, especially with the distribution of God’s Word into the hands of those who need to hear from Him. I’m sure there are many people who lost their bibles and would love to have one. Unfortunately, there are people who can’t seem to understand this, and have nothing better to do than to criticize the efforts being made. God Bless You All.

  • Richard Lewis

    I was listening to a radio call-in show where they announced that you were going to give out bibles to the Katrina survivors that wanted one. The announcer was reading letters from a handful of people that misunderstood your efforts to distribute the bibles and were critical of it. They even had an atheist activist on air who wanted to be sure the bibles weren’t being distibuted on government property! If it were not so sad I would have laughed out loud. To these few voices of opposition I would say that these folks who have lost it all want food, water, a place to sleep and a bible. Perhaps the survivors’ simple list of needs should be a signpost to all of us to re-prioritize our lives and needs.

    Let us all contribute to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the Katrina survivors.

    I think what you are doing is a great project. We will support your efforts financially. Great job! God Bless You.

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