Did you know that the collaboration between the Coca-Cola System and the Red Cross dates back to 1917? We actually have a lot in common including 100-plus year histories and the fact that when disaster strikes, you can count on both the Coca-Cola System and the Red Cross to be there. Here are a few interesting stories from our files that highlight our joint efforts:

Disaster Relief in 1927 – During heavy flooding in the state of Mississippi in 1927, Coca-Cola delivery trucks from the local Greenwood, Mississippi bottling plant drove 430 people to safety, hauled 25 boats and unloaded three cars of clothes and provisions that had been shipped to local Red Cross officials.


Global reach with a local presence in 1965 – Our bottling partners around the world have been supporting local Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for decades. This 1965 photo on the right was taken during the annual Red Cross Fair in Bangkok, Thailand. More than 250,000 people attended the fair, including the Royal Couple of Thailand. The local Coca-Cola bottler supplied Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite to the fair’s visitors and donated all profits to the Red Cross. That year, the fair raised $350,000 toward continuing Red Cross work in Thailand. I love the Coke and Red Cross logos in the background of the photo taken at the fair's refreshment stand.

Disaster Relief in 2017 – The American Red Cross provided more food, relief supplies and shelter stays in 2017 than all of the previous four years combined due to the record number of large and complex disasters. In just 45 days, the Red Cross responded to back-to-back hurricanes — Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate — and the deadliest week of wildfires in California’s history. During this time, The Coca-Cola Foundation responded by providing $3.5 million of funding to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to assist with immediate disaster relief.

We often say that our Coca-Cola business is only as healthy as the communities in which we operate, and in 1927 The Coca-Cola Bottler Magazine stated that “[Coca-Cola bottlers] who are contributing to the call from the Red Cross know that when they make any contributions to the Red Cross fund, they are sure to help the people who constitute the Coca-Cola consumers in many Coca-Cola territories.” It’s great to see the partnership continuing with today’s announcement.