Web hosting provider Go Daddy announced on Monday that its CEO Bob Parsons visited Haiti in late April to deliver medical supplies and to oversee the use of the company’s donations to the aid efforts in the country, devastated by an earthquake in January of 2010, and the focus of many humanitarian efforts since.
In April, Go Daddy followed up on previous donations to the relief efforts, with Parsons promising to match every donation made by customers participating in the company’s “Round Up for Charity” program, launched in April to raise money for Haiti. The program enables customers to “round up” their purchases to the nearest dollar, with the excess money going to Haiti relief. Go Daddy says the program has already raised $20,000, not including the company’s matching of that amount.
Parsons, and his wife Renee, who runs Go Daddy’s charitable division Go Daddy Cares, visited Port-au-Prince and Les Cayes, where they worked with the organization Hope for Haiti to deliver medical supplies. Go Daddy says it donated $500,000 to Hope for Haiti immediately following the earthquake in 2010, and another $500,000 in Feburary of this year.
Parsons posted a 12-minute video of the Haiti trip to his video blog at BobParsons.me.
In the press release announcing the efforts, Go Daddy dismisses (and presumably anticipates) the suggestion that the trip might be an attempt to counteract the widespread criticism Parsons received for posting a video of himself shooting an elephant in Zimbabwe in March of this year.
That the news of the charitable work will be received in the context of the elephant video is sort of inevitable. But it would be awfully crass to interpret the company's charity work as simply an effort to distract from that. After all, the company has been working to make charitable donations a part of its public image for years.
Go Daddy’s history of charitable donations is definitely well recorded, with significant donations to both national charities and local Arizona organizations. In March, the company announced that its donations for 2011 had already come close to reaching the $3 million mark, with donations going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona, the Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA, the Starlight Children’s Foundation, Chrysalis Honors (an organization that helps victims of domestic abuse), the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Iowa and the Child Crisis Center of Arizona.
While in Haiti, says Go Daddy, Parsons committed to the company funding a community survey to support the expansion of the Frere Unis de Ravine Sable School. The survey will allow residents of the area to comment on individual family education needs.