KANSAS CITY, MO, Nov 30, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Every year, disaster strikes thousands of communities nationwide. With 11,000 offices across the country, many of those communities include H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) clients and associates. Flooding, wildfires, tornadoes and many other weather-related disasters cause nearly $10 billion* in damage annually in the U.S. Knowing the importance of responding quickly when disaster strikes, H&R Block has partnered with the American Red Cross as a national Disaster Responder program sponsor.
Through this partnership, H&R Block provides financial support to help ensure the Red Cross is funded to prepare for disaster threats and respond immediately to affected areas. H&R Block's contributions will help provide food, water, shelter and other needed services.
"Reliable funding enables the Red Cross to offer immediate assistance to individuals and families affected by disaster," said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of disaster services for the Red Cross. "The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year and assists people every day. Commitments from partners like H&R Block help us prepare for disasters ahead of time so we can be on the ground quickly to provide relief to those in need as soon as possible."
H&R Block associates and franchisees have volunteered time, donated blood and provided financial support to the Red Cross for years. And because the company helps taxpayers claim losses and understand tax law complexity following federally declared disasters, H&R Block recognizes how critical access to important documents is during a time of turmoil. Knowing this, H&R Block strongly encourages people to prepare emergency kits with necessities like flashlights, bottled water and medicine as well as tax and financial information that will help expedite reconstructing finances and processing insurance claims.
"With offices nationwide, we've seen clients, franchisees, employees and entire communities affected when disaster strikes," said Phil Mazzini, president of assisted tax services for H&R Block. "We can't prevent disasters from happening, but by partnering with the Red Cross, we can help people get back on their feet and protect them from additional harm."
*National Weather Service Report (2010 Summary of National Hazard Statistics) Figures represent property and crop damage nationwide as reported 7/13/2011.
H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) has prepared more than 575 million tax returns worldwide since 1955, making it the country's largest tax services provider. In fiscal 2011, H&R Block had annual revenues of $3.8 billion and prepared more than 24.5 million tax returns worldwide, including Canada and Australia. Tax return preparation services are provided in company-owned and franchise retail tax offices by approximately 100,000 professional tax preparers, and through H&R Block At Home(TM) digital products. The H&R Block Bank provides affordable banking products and services, and McGladrey is a top provider of tax, accounting and wealth management services to mid-sized businesses. For more information, visit the H&R Block Online Press Center.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization -- not a government agency -- and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.
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SOURCE: H & R Block