What These Companies Did in the Wake Of Hurricane Sandy Will Restore Your Faith in Big Business

Laura Stampler

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy's destruction, some companies have stepped up in inspiring ways to help its displaced and struggling victims.

While many big businesses have donated money to charity, some have taken a more active role and are going into evacuated zones to get their hands dirty.

From Duracell driving trucks into Battery Park with phone chargers and internet accessible lap tops to gyms opening their doors (and showers) to non members to banks waving ATM withdrawal fees for people with competitors' cards, these acts of good will inspire you to believe in corporate kindness.

Duracell is giving power.

When lower Manhattan was left without power after Sandy hit, Connecticut-based Duracell deployed Rapid Responder four-by-four trucks to one of the worst hit areas in NYC: Battery Park.

Each truck came with phone charging stations and computers with internet access so New Yorkers could reach out to friends and family via email and social media sites. The Rapid Responders have since roamed the streets of New York and New Jersey to help people power up.

Comcast is providing wifi to non-customers.

The FCC stated that about 25 percent of cable customers living in the 10 states impacted by Hurricane Sandy have lost service.

Comcast, which operated 50,000 public hot spots across the country, wants to help and opened up its Xfinity Wifi in impacted areas to everyone ... customer or not.

All you have to do is search for the "xfinitywifi" network, click on "Not a Comcast subscriber?" and then sign in for a "Complimentary Trial Session" through November 7.

Here's a list of hot spots.

New York Sports Club and other gyms ... other than Equinox, that is ... are offering showers.

New York Sports Clubs that were unaffected by the storm have opened up their doors to victims of Hurricane Sandy. A press release states:

"In an effort to offer the comforts of home to all those who have been affected, the New York Sports Clubs will be opening its doors to all victims for full use of its facilities, whether it's the need for a hot shower, to charge a cell phone battery, or simply to recharge their batteries with a stress-relieving workout."

Yoga to the People is also letting powerless New Yorkers shower and charge up.

An Equinox gym goer told us that the elite gym is actually tightening its restrictions and not allowing guest passes or free trials to keep crowds down.

Wells Fargo, BofA, Citi, and TD Bank are just some that are waiving ATM and late credit card payment fees.

USA Today reports that many banks, including those mentioned above, are "waiving or refunding out-of-network ATM fees as well as late fees such as those on credit cards, auto loans and student loans for customers in many of the areas affected by the storm."

Local banks acted similarly during the 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo.

Goldman Sachs gave out water and charging stations.

On Halloween, Goldman Sachs opened its doors to Battery Park residents, providing them with water and charging stations at the Conrad Hotel.

Target is giving goods to local communities in need.

On top of donating to charities, the Examiner reports that Target has "donated pillows, cribs and other basic items to local communities."

GM donates trucks and money.

Chevrolet donated 50 Silverados to the American Red Cross to use as it wishes during relief and recovery efforts.

GM also donated $250,000 to the Red Cross Disaster Responder Program.

New York Times, Newsday, and Wall Street Journal drop pay walls.

Major publications dropped their paywalls prior to when Sandy hit and during its aftermath so that people could stay safe and informed with real time coverage on their tablets, computers, and smart phones.

Numerous companies are making major donations.

Of course, many companies are contributing by donating money that organizations — from the American Red  Cross to local community efforts — can use to the cleanup and relief efforts after the crisis is less dire.

Coca-Cola, FedEx, Volkswagen, and Kellogg are donating, to name a very few.

Brand Channel listed specific donations.

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