You may have heard the announcement that The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are launching a global partnership with a focus on disaster response. 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.
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.