The former “Real Housewives of New York” star’s emergency assistance initiative B Strong, together with business leader Michael Capponi’s Global Empowerment Mission, is packing trucks with more than $180,000 worth of donated aid to benefit Americans devastated by the natural disaster.
“There are houses with burst pipes everywhere, icicles hanging from people’s ceilings and a lot of damage and destruction. Phase Zero is always ‘pull it together and get the aid’ because people are freezing and suffering, and then the next phase is helping people rebuild," Frankel told FOX Business on Thursday.
She and her team are sending survival kits to the Lone Star State which include non-perishable foods like rice, oats, beans, protein bars and hydration kits, along with PPE and hygiene essentials like toothpaste, soap, dry shampoo, masks and hand sanitizer.
“It’s a base for people to have after natural disasters. We decided it’s better to create one big box and have everything that a family is going to need in one shot," Capponi said.
The goal, at the moment, is to raise at least $540,000 worth of supplies for families in need.
“The first relief effort that I ever got involved in was Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and I went in sort of cold. It used to be like starting a business, where you’re trying to raise money and build up a reputation and now, there’s a proof of concept," Frankel says of building a relief network into a global effort. "We’re built for this. We have a warehouse, we have trucks, we have an army of volunteers, everyone knows exactly where their money is going."
And she means business. Frankel’s humanitarian relief efforts started in 2017 with Hurricane Harvey when she raised $300,000 in donations and catapulted when she visited Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria that same year raising close to $60,000 in cash cards for those left homeless after the storm, and famously packing four planes with emergency resources. She also enlisted relief efforts and resources in Mexico to help earthquake survivors, and in Guatemala after a volcano eruption killed more than 60 people.
During the pandemic, Frankel and her crisis squad distributed more than $20 million worth of PPE supplies, with much going to high-risk communities and health care workers across the country.
And she’s received a slew of support from A-listers such as Billy Joel, Ellen DeGeneres and Matthew McConaughey. It's her no-nonsense approach and transparency, she says, that's helped her build trust and, ultimately, raise the much-needed funding.
"We don’t sit around and blame or complain and get political," Frankel tells Fox Business. "We’re working."