Disaster Relief for Mexico and Puerto Rico

Natural disasters continue to wreak havoc around the world, most recently in central Mexico, which is recovering from a devastating 7.1-magnitude earthquake, and in Puerto Rico and the surrounding Caribbean islands, which were pummeled by Hurricane Maria.

Our hearts go out to our colleagues, friends and neighbors in these communities as they continue to rescue people, assess the damage and start the long journey of recovery.

All Lilly employees in Mexico are reported safe following the earthquake, but we know many people were not as fortunate. In Puerto Rico, we are working to establish contact with employees who were sent home in advance of the storm, but the process is complicated by damaged power lines and cell-tower infrastructure. As always in situations like these, we encourage our employees to focus on their safety and that of their families, friends and neighbors.

Each of these disasters, including recent hurricanes Harvey and Irma, is unique in scope and impact – and requires a unique response from the local, national and international community.

In response to the Mexico City earthquake and Hurricane Maria, the Lilly Foundation will donate an additional $250,000 to the American Red Cross and United Way Worldwide to help those impacted by both disasters. The foundation has now committed a total of $750,000 to relief agencies in response to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the recent earthquakes in Mexico.

The Lilly Foundation is also matching employee donations made to our disaster relief partner, Global Giving. In addition, the company is working with its NGO partners and will respond to their requests for donations of medicine, including insulin, in the days and weeks ahead.

I’ll close by mentioning a story I heard about one of our employees in Mexico. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, she made sandwiches for the rescue teams as they work through the day and night to save lives. It’s compassionate, heartfelt acts like this, no matter how big or small, that bind us together in our sorrow and give us the strength to overcome.


Rob Smith

Senior Director

Lilly Corporate Responsibility