On August 29, HCA Healthcare announced up to $1 million in matching funds for employee donations to the HCA Hope Fund, the company’s employee assistance nonprofit organization. Since its founding 12 years ago, the organization has provided more than 23,000 grants totaling more than $35 million in assistance to employees, helping many employees rebuild their lives after natural disasters.

In fact, according to Joanne Pulles, HCA vice president of community relations and president of the HCA Hope Fund, the idea for an employee-run, employee-supported charity came from the aftermath of hurricanes in 2004.

“The HCA Hope Fund was inspired by the 2004 Florida hurricanes and our employees’ significant need as a result of those storms,” said Pulles. “HCA personnel around the rest of the country really wanted to help and didn’t know how. So, we established a bank account where people could give – and they did. We helped hundreds of colleagues through that fund.”

The HCA Hope Fund was founded in 2005, and was just ramping up operations when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans where HCA affiliate Tulane Medical Center is located. Despite being in the early stages of operations, employees provided more than $4 million in grants to colleagues in need after the storm.

“It was truly a defining moment for our company and the way that we care for each other,” said Pulles. “To our HCA families in need, HCA Hope Fund support, directly from fellow employees, represents much more than financial relief; it represents hope that life might soon return to normal.”

HCA employees, vendors, affiliated physicians, patients and the general public can make tax-deductible donations to the fund. To make a donation, click here.

To apply for disaster help, click here.